High School Teacher Returns From Spring Break As A Woman

1eo9Mz.AuSt.132High school science teacher Karen Scot has been awarded the Who’s Who in America’s Schools accolade over 10 times. She’s received the Eastman Kodak Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has seen more than 5,000 students pass through her classroom.

She was also known as Gary Scone up until this week.

The 56-year-old well-respected Yosemite HS teacher spent her spring break undergoing the final steps in a gender reassignment she knew deep down was right since an early age.

She told the Sierra Star:

“I was always transgender from my very first memories as a tiny child. I am just now finally becoming completely authentic as a person.”

And it wasn’t an easy path to find this confidence. Her whole life, Scot tried everything she could think of to reinforce the masculinity she thought she was supposed to have, playing college football, joining the military and training in martial arts. None of it felt right.

“It was all part of my subconscious trying to prove to myself I was not really the girl I was inside. There are a lot of people that will disagree and think I made a choice but I didn’t … It’s not a choice.”

The school district is standing by their award-winning educator, and is encouraging respectful dialogue among students, faculty and families. They’ll also provide counseling for those seeking a better understanding. In other words, the school will help to educate. Imagine that.

Principal Randy Seals said:

“This is a unique situation, one that challenges traditional ideas, philosophies, and belief systems for many people. We want to encourage parents and families to sit together to discuss the issues surrounding this situation with their children.”

Ultimately it really does come down to education. Whether you’re Wendy Williams or a high school sophomore, you can’t be expected to understand the complex physical and emotional challenges of being transgender until you cast off your judgements and listen, ask questions and listen some more.

And for those who feel annoyed (we see you in the Queerty comments) that transgender people are “lumped in” with the gay community, consider that it wasn’t so long ago that gays and lesbians faced the same level of misinformation, prejudice and stigma in mainstream culture. If we can’t stand with those who are misunderstood and support them in finding authentic identity, then what are we doing here?

Scot sums it up well:

“All transgenders’ want is the same thing any human being wants. We want to be part of the community and be treated like anyone else. Nothing special, nothing worse, because we care about other people and we do have feelings too.

We wish you the very best, Karen. Also if you give a pop quiz on your first day back, they’ll never see it coming.

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  • 1EqualityUSA

    Will she get a 20% drop in pay now?

  • HirsuteOne


    A 20% drop in pay and everyone freaking out about where she pees.

  • rextrek

    what HirsuteOne said x1000 …….the freaks of the rightwing will go bonkers now….

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @HirsuteOne: I don’t think she’ll lose pay but Her raises will come more slowly now that she batting for the other team as for where she’s pee’s since she’s a she and has had complete sex change surgery I don’t feel that it is going to be an issue as it would be if she hadn’t…..I known there are some people don’t want hear that but hey thats how it is.

  • LJ Thomas

    I commend Ms. Scot for her courage in becoming the person she feels she was meant to be. As a community, LGBT individuals need to support and respect the needs and rights of our transgender brothers and sisters.

  • jayj150

    It’s not about feeling annoyed because we’re lumped with them, we’re just two different crowds. Just because a group faces discrimination, it doesn’t mean they should get a letter next to LGB; people with disabilities face discrimination, should we get add a D for them as well?, or how about a W for Wicca people?. We are LGB because we have a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality, simple as that. They are transsexual because of their discontent with their sex of birth, which they feel doesn’t match their gender. We are perfectly happy with our sex, our names, the identities we’ve always had, etc.; we want to change nothing about ourselves. So, it’s 2 completely different struggles. I don’t see why an LGB group should devote time and effort to support the legal battles of women or men who identify as ‘heterosexual'(and even get offended when compared to LGB folks), simply because they are transsexuals. It takes more balls(no pun intended) to live your life as a non-conforming LGB person, than to change your sex so you can call yourself ‘straight’.

  • Thad1527

    Maybe the struggle is different, but transgender people have my support. And I try to remember the key word here is PEOPLE.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: here’s a few reasons:
    Trans people are often the target of anti-gay hate, and vice versa.
    Many trans folks start their journey of coming out and transitioning by first identifying as gay or queer.
    Around 2/3 of trans folks are LGB.
    The queer community has historically included LGB and T people.
    Protections based on gender identity and expression protect both trans folks and gender nonconforming LGB folks.
    And, lastly, current LGBT advocacy groups have a lot of resources and people that serve both LGB and T people. Many of the folks working there come from either background. If you’re proposing to kick out trans folks from “your” movement, be prepared for the disarray, delays, and restructuring that would accompany the removal of those people and resources to fight for “trans only” causes, versus “LGB only” causes.

  • Billy Budd

    I don’t have any prejudice against trans people, I totally respect them, but I don’t understand their reasons. Why don’t they choose to just be gay and naturally effeminate? Why do they have to cut off body parts and take hormones? It is a mistery to me.

  • Evji108

    Can’t these guys get some good makeup tips before going lady?

  • Thedrdonna

    @Billy Budd: I don’t understand what people find attractive about men, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think straight women and gay men don’t exist. It also doesn’t mean that gay men should just become women so they are straight.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @jayj150: Except NOT all transsexuals transition and come out as straight on the other end in fact most are Gay even after transition. You should get more information before you spout off.

  • inbama

    @jayj150: Jay, your feelings about this are of course entirely valid.

    For starters, lots of gay men have gender issues as children, but as we all think we’re supposed o be gym rats now with six pack abs, we repress those memories. Will didn’t decide he needed a friend like Grace in adulthood – his childhood friends would have been girls as well. He might have cut out paper dolls, pantomimed female singers or actresses, imagined himself as Snow White rather than Prince Charming. During the early years of the gay movement, some activists talked of us being “The Third Sex” and viewed their love for men as being the result of a feminized brain.

    I would suggest to you, this subject is frightening for us because we have more in common with transgenders than we care to admit. The difference between them and us is we grow out of these gender issues.(Although, if our response to this childhood is to live at the gym and shoot up with steroids, you have to wonder how “over it” we actually are.)

    Secondly, Freud didn’t come up with the phrase “castration fear” for nothing. Gay men can understand gender assignment surgery intellectually, but on a purely emotional level, this is probably the most terrifying thing any man could imagine except for death. If we had to do without one body part and were given a choice to pick which one, hom many men would choose their peens?

  • Shannon1981

    @jayj150: Transexxual people are not transitioning so that they do not have to be LGB. They transition because they are born in the wrong body. People who are trans can be gay, straight, or bi just like cisgender people can. Sexual orientation =/= gender identity.

  • nudedude

    Wish I had him as a teacher, so would have had a crush on him. Just because a man doesn’t like stereotypical masculine, male activities doesn’t mean he is transgendered. I do hope she is happy.

  • Billy Budd

    If she cut off her parts, she will never have an orgasm again!

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: That’s exactly the point Billy Bud was making. Being gay/lesbian/bisexual does NOT require ANY change: not hormonal, not surgical, not of any kind. All it requires is SELF-ACCEPTANCE. Being transsexual is all about changing oneself: from your name and legal identity to dangerous surgical/hormonal alterations to one’s body. Your analogy is completely flawed.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: @jayj150: I think if I have misinterpreted Billy Budd’s words then I will trust him to set me straight. You’ve made your prejudices regarding trans folks quite clear.

  • yaoming

    The way I see it, being gay was de pathologized years ago and trans people have been fighting to have their pathology recognized (i.e. so they can have their disorder medically treated). Whether or not they’re attracted to the same gender and belong lumped in with the LGB crowd is another matter.

  • Billy Budd

    Let me be more clear: In nature, there are more than 200 species where homosexuality is very common and was documented. However, it is very rare for an animal to cut off his sexual organs in order to change its sex. I make the point that it is less natural to be a trans than to be gay.

    These guys must suffer a lot during their entire lives, and I sympathize with them. But sex change is a weird process and causes irreversible problems. People do not have orgasms anymore, and I have read that a minority of the operated trans people have love relationships. They are very isolated and in the case of trans women, not fully functional in terms of sex.

    You will attack me without mercy for saying this, but I don’t care. I just wantr to say that I don’t hate anybody, I just feel sorry for some people’s conditions.

  • allisfutile

    @Billy Budd: Trans people aren’t all straight. There are plenty of trans women who love women, and trans men who love men.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Billy Budd: I don’t know that I care much about how “natural” I am. I woke up in my bed today, wearing clothes, then went to my refrigerator and got a coke. At no point did “natural-ness” enter that sequence, and I’m glad of it. I’ll take unnatural comfort over nature-based discomfort any day.

    Almost all trans women, at least, maintain their ability to orgasm. I’ve only heard of a few isolated cases where they couldn’t, and even those people felt that they’d rather have the right parts than the ability to get their rocks off.

    There’s really no data about how many trans folks have romantic relationships, either before or after surgery, but from experience surgery makes it more likely for that to happen because the trans person in question now doesn’t have to worry about having the wrong plumbing for their partner.

  • inbama

    Having “the wrong plumbing for your partner” only means you have the wrong partner.

  • withrandomprecision

    And why is that? Romantic attraction is not equivalent to sexual attraction for everyone, and there are trans women I know in relationships with cis women that identify as lesbians, and their sex life is none of my business, but I do know it involves a penis and a vagina.

  • withrandomprecision

    @yaoming: I would say the exact opposite is true. The only reason a trans* person seeks a diagnosis from a health professional is because its generally required to change legal documents and sometimes for hormone therapy and SRS depending on your doctor. The trans community is fighting to de-classify gender identity as a mental health disorder, the same way the LGB community has done.
    As for why T is included with LGB – the best way I have seen it described is that what is true for all LGBT people is that we are judged based on our birth sex. Whether we are judged on who we love, or judged based on our gender expression / identity sets LGB apart from T, but the battlegrounds are often fought in the same arenas against the same prejudice.

  • inbama


    Actually, what I said was a very limited response to the statement just prior, and I don’t think we are in disagreement – unless you are suggesting that pleasing a specific partner is a valid reason to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.

    I would hope no doctor would sign off on such a thing.

  • withrandomprecision

    @inbama: Sorry! I must have mis interpreted what you said :)

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