A Voice for the Future

Ace Nelson already published some of this story.

Several people have recently tried to make sure that I noticed the Boston Globe article about Nicole Maines and her family, entitled Led by the child who simply knew.  Jonas and Wyatt Maines were born twin boys but, as Jonas is reported to have said early in their childhood:

Dad, you might as well face it.  You have a son and a daughter.

The twins are now 14 and Nicole is being treated by the relatively new Gender Management Service Clinic at Children’s Hospital Boston.  The GeMS Clinic was founded in 2007 by endocrinologist Norman Spack and urologist David Diamond.  It is the first pediatric academic program in the Western Hemisphere to evaluate and treat pubescent transkids.

Not everyone agrees with what GeMS does, of course.

Not everyone agrees that they should, of course, and Spack has heard the arguments: Man should not interfere with what God has wrought. Early adolescents are too young for such huge decisions, much less life-altering treatment.

The article would have been much improved, in my opinion, if it had resisted the urge to give “equal time” to Kenneth Zucker of the gender-identity service at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, who has historically never been the friend of transpeople.

I like Spack’s response about “playing God”:

Leviticus says, ‘If thy neighbor is bleeding by the side of the road, you shall not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor.’ It’s a mandate. I think these kids have been bleeding.

In June 2009 the Maine Human Rights Commission ruled that Asa Adams Elementary school in Orono discriminated against Nicole during the 2007-2008 school year by denying her access to the girls bathroom.

It is interesting to note that the complaint against Nicole using the girls bathroom was generated by a boy who was instigated to do so by his grandfather, who told the boy that if Nicole could use the girls restroom, then so could he.  So the boy harassed and stalked Nicole, calling her a “faggot” and the like, until he was evntually suspended and removed from Nicole’s class.  But the harassment did not stop…and on top of it the school isolated Nicole from her peers by forcing her to use a separate staff-only restroom.

The grandfather was supported by the Christian Civic League.

In September of 2010 the Maine Human Rights Commission ruled that Orono Middle School unlawfully discriminated against Nicole by not letting her use the girl’s bathroom with her friends.

Back in June, Nicole and her family lobbied the Maine Legislature against a bill that would have restricted restrooms by biological sex.  To do that lobbying, they had to surrender what remained of their anonymity.

In October, Nicole, her brother, and her parents were honored by GLAD at the 2011 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner.


Nicole’s father, Wayne:

Gary Buseck speaks wise words:

The Maines family also won the Roger Baldwin Award from the ACLU for their courage and perseverance in fighting against the anti-transgender legislation.

1 comment

    • Robyn on December 17, 2011 at 00:01

    …and Jazz Jennings, I’m feeling better about the state of future of rights for transpeople.

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