Gary Sconce, a California high school teacher, surprised students, parents and administrators by announcing that the long-time educator would return from spring break as Karen Adell Scot.
Identifying as a transperson has cost Scot her marriage, status in the local church and nearly her job. To prepare the Yosemite High School community for her transition, Scot wrote to parents on March 19, detailing her struggle with being a “false, phony male,” reports the Daily News.
“I covered the female inside with hyper-masculine behavior, trying to provide I was not the woman inside I actually was,” Sconce wrote. “I will be legally changing my name and after finishing my course of teaching at Yosemite for a while longer, then will retire as a mature woman.”
There has been a mixed reaction to Scot's admission. Some parents of teens at Yosemite high, where Scot has been a teacher for 24 years, pressured the school to fire her because her employment contract “was inked by a man.” Still others think Scot’s very existence has blurred the “lines of what is right and wrong.”
Fortunately, the Yosemite Unified School District along with Yosemite High’s principal Randy Seals has defended Scot’s legal right to express her gender identity as she sees fit. But as I like to say, not everyone can be on the right side of history.
“Some parents are pulling their kids out of classes and things like that and some of the staff is uncomfortable, which I don't understand because if you work with someone that long, they're not a different person, they're the same person just a different gender now,” student Natalie Choin told KFSN.
From the mouth of babes. Hopefully the adults around Natalie can pull themselves together and realize that a victory for Scot is also a win for their children. Not everyone is comfortable in their own skin, and Scot's bravery might open the door for someone else in their community to embrace their true selves sooner rather than later.
Image via ABC 30.