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Before I get to today's story, I'd like to share Gender Animatic, which was produced by Shiistudios for a sociology class.  I found this on Facebook, at the Wipe Out Transphobia page.

Some people have been puzzled by the video.  It seems straightforward enough to me.  The protagonist does not feel connection with the community of women, or the community of men, and while initially well-received by the GLB community, there eventually comes the demand that the protagonist identify as either a man or a woman.  So the protagonist then works to carve out a separate niche, and eventually finds someone to join in.

That paragraph could possibly have been phrased better had I felt the freedom to use pronouns...which I did not.

 photo Jan2913_cory3_biggy_zpsa4553677.jpgCory Oskam is finding that societal niche for himself, with help from the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.  On his sixteenth birthday Cory was able to stand beside his hero, Canuck goalie Cory Schneider for pre-game warmup and the playing of Oh, Canada before the Canucks battled the Calgary Flames.

Oskam is a 10th-grader at Brittania Secondary School and is a goalie on the school hockey team.  He also plays for a C1 team in Ridge Meadows (I assume C1 is a level in youth soccer).

Oskam began taking hormone blockers at the age of 9 to suppress female puberty and its attendant development of secondary sexual characteristics.  He reports that he has so far had a life of more steps forward than back since then.  He has been blessed with accepting friends and family and a supportive school system.

A year and a half ago he began taking testosterone.  He says he is finally feeling comfortable in his own skin.

I went into high school not who I am, but being in grade 10 now I feel very much like part of the high school.  I felt like an outsider, now I have a great support system and a great group of friends, which I’ve never had before. Life is great.

--Cory Oskam

Here's the story about how Cory selected his name:

 photo Jan2913_cory1_long_zps47e812db.jpg

I’m a really big card collector, I was collecting all kinds of cards and my mom said to pick my favourite and collect him – it was getting a bit out of control.  Then I opened a pack of cards and pulled a really sick Cory Schneider card.  It just clicked; I needed to start collecting him.

Around the time I started collecting Schneider, it was time to pick a name.  I went through a handful: Will, William, Matt, Matthew, none of them really felt right, then my mom suggested Cory and I started using it around the house.  It felt very right.  Cory felt very right.

Oskam is an advocate against homophobia, transphobia, bullying, intersectional violence and discrimination in schools, which has cast him as a role model in his community.  He is often invited to speak on these issues.  He was preparing a presentation for a Vancouver Dare to Stand Out conference on January 21 when his mother told him that as part of Minor Hockey Week, he had been invited to skate with Schneider and the Canucks on January 23.

Dare to Stand Out is part of Canada's youth diversity initiative Jer's Vision.

The experience is all a blur for Cory now. He remembers the thrill of skating onto the ice, meeting Schneider and standing beside him for 'O Canada'. That’s about it. He won’t soon be forgetting the surprise of meeting Schneider post-game though; Cory, who was wearing an old pair of Schneider’s pads he purchased at a Canucks equipment sale, got them autographed and they’re now retired in his room.

What a night.

Originally posted to TransAction on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:26 AM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community.

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