By Ellen Barlow
Bullying started early for Nicole Maines, now a college freshman, who has known since she was 2 years old that she was not the boy she was born as. She wanted to dress as Ariel the mermaid in a world that expected her to be a Batman.
By age 12, her transition was complete. She took the name Nicole and switched to using the girls bathroom at school. But one complaint was all it took to unleash what Maines called “the adults with outdated values who don’t understand or don’t want to understand.”
Bullying forced the family to flee Orono, Maine.
“No one should have to grow up being bullied for who they are,” Maines said.