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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Becoming Cory - part two

Thanks to the wonders of text messaging Cory did not have to wait to return to school to hear about what kids were saying.

Firstly there were those in his electives with little to no history with Anneke who were shocked to learn she was even nattally female. "that's a girl?!? I thought he was a guy." Well then you can just keep thinking that. Long live the blockers that have kept female puberty at bay.

Next were that friends that already knew. "yup. We know." no shock here.

The hockey academy was a different kettle if fish. After all, the girls were being told they had been dressing (and undressing) with a guy in the room basically, and the guys were going to have another guy join them in their locker room whom they had always known to be female.

As 14 year old boys are prone to do, jokes were made about this. Jokes to no doubt guise their insecurity and discomfort.
"what's he gonna do, wear a strap-on in the locker room?"
Now most parents have envisioned and somewhat prepared for the birds and bees/where do babies come from talk.
Needeless to say I was somewhat underprepared when Cory looked up from his phone and said "mom, what's a strap-on?" Trying to be much more nonchalant than I felt I described the device until he embarrassedly stopped me by saying "I get it mom, you can stop talking now."
Luckily Cory has several close friends who tried their best to shut down teasing.
Ms. L. later told me that several if the hockey academy guys did approach her privately and express concerns. She did her best to explain that Cory has the "brain of the boy, and a body of a girl." One leader within the academy was one such boy. According to Ms. L. he contemplated this slowly and thoughtfully. "I get it...I think" he said.
A friend and I deliberated that if someone respected and liked supported Cory it would go a long way to preventing teasing and bullying.
The other thing that ms. L. pointed out was the fact that Cory was such a great, well liked kid, it would be extremely hard to be mean to him. People were motivated to understand because they liked him so much. She was genuinely impressed at what a wonderful, brave, mature kid I had. The timing couldn't have been better. I needed to be reminded that no matter what Cory walked into the next day, he had the tools to deal with it. And the love and support of many people.
The next day Cory returned to school. I waited until lunch to text him to find out how things were going. This required great restraint on my part I might add.
Getting information out if a 14 year old boy is hard at the best of times
"how's it going?"
"are people being cool?"
"anything bad happen?"
"I love you"
"you too"
That's all I could get out of him until he got home.
Apparently at an anti-bullying assembly the day before a bunch of the hockey academy guys sat in the back and sang the "transformers" theme song, but changed the lyrics to say "transgender". Cory heard about this and, unfamiliar with the song, asked what the lyrics were. Three guys looked at him like deer in the headlights, two scuttled away leaving one to defend himself.
"uh, I don't really remember" he said. "I'm not mad. I just want to know what the song said"
At that moment the hottest girl in the hockey academy walked up to the group and draped leaned on the poor guy stammering, his friends still lurking to see what he would finally say. Cory continued to ask about the seemingly creative teasing. A. (the gorgeous girl) catches on to the tension and moves to stand next to Cory.
"Do we have a problem here?"
"I just...I ..." he stammered
"I said, do we have a problem here?!"she raised her voice a got in his face a bit clearly suggesting that it you mess with Cory you mess with her.
Well that shut things down pretty completely. The girl every guy is dying to talk to, is Cory's most emphatic defender. This was the leader my friend and I were hoping would appear. Who knew she would be a blonde?


  1. That's so great! Congrats, Cory. You're so amazing - an inspiration. And kudos to you, Hockey Mom, for being such a good writer and empathetic mom. And a cyber-high five to the rest of the family and to Cory's friends for being so open-minded and acceptive. Your son deserves this great transition. This is the story every genderfluid/transgender/third-gender/agender/bigender (sorry if I forgot some)person should have.
    Good luck on your journey!

  2. Hi Hockey Mom,

    I'm a research assistant for the Women and Gender's studies department and I cannot find any contact information (such as e-mail) to contact you. One of the professors here is doing research on gender fluid parenting and they are wondering if you are by chance, a feminist. Please contact me at ... regards, G

  3. I was just wondering, what happened with the hockey academy? You said first that they said no, and now your hockey enthusiast Cory seems to be enrolled there after all, which is awesome, because I know from reading the rest of your blog how much he wanted to go. :)

  4. Thank you so much for this, and congrats on you transition Cory. We are currently in transition at a new school as our current school is using faith as a means to say they can't suport us. I'd love to chat with you more about your openness in sharing your story, as I'd like to do the same but our child is only 9 and may not understand how privacy issues can come up later in life. Please feel free to email me, and thank you again for being so open about this challenging and rewarding time in our lives as parents.