Courage in Oakhurst

For Your Consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comMarch 25, 2014 

The Gary Sconce/Karen Scot controversy brings to mind the expression, "All it takes is one 'aw crap' to wipe out a career of 'atta boys.'" There may be times when this is appropriate but, my goodness man, Sconce did not commit a heinous crime. What I know of Sconce is only what I have read in the coverage by Sierra Star's Alan Wileman and the Bee's Carmen George.

This person has unselfishly given so much and for so long. The greater 'aw crap' is for those who benefitted so much from Gary, but are now turning their backs on him or not actively supporting him. Here is an opportunity to show appreciation far more tangible than trivial applause and accolades — acceptance.

As my mind grappled with this situation, I was wondering how the community would have reacted given a different scenario?

Let's say instead of Gary Sconce, Karen Scot came to Oakhurst 30 years ago. Let's say she too received the Who's Who in America's Schools teacher 10 times; was awarded the Eastman Kodak Award for Excellence in Teaching; is a California Distinguished Educator; "coached and trained California State Champions in Science Fair, Science Olympiad and Odyssey of the Mind, with her OM team taking fifth place in world competition defeating Russia;" and has received honors for excellence in teaching science students by the Department of Energy/Cray Research Foundation. Scot's Native American Science team took fifth place in the All Tribe Western Native Science Championships.

That's quite a résumé. Students, parents and teachers respected and loved Ms. Scot. She helped more than 5,000 students become successful, responsible and productive adults. They always knew her as a woman with no hint that she was ever anything else. Then one day they discovered she used to be a man, Gary Sconce.

In this circumstance, I feel the community would probably be less traumatized would be more accepting. The only difference between Karen Scot transgendered 30 years ago and Karen Scot transgendered today is that people got to know her for 30 years.

Karen Scot today is an unknown quantity, although pragmatically speaking, they are both exactly the same. What is on trial here is not Gary Sconce. What are on trial are our own fears and anxieties.

There are opinions that the community should take a stand. They should not accept the unacceptable; that this is an assault on the minds and morals of children.

Why is it unacceptable and how is it an assault? Rarely are there explanations. These opinions spring strictly from dogma. It is dogma that is unacceptable. We should ask ourselves what do we think will happen to our children or society when Gary becomes Karen?

Do you fear that your children will be influenced to change gender? Are you anxious that your own children who may have dysphoria (gender identity confusion) will feel liberated and do the same?

In the first instance, rest assured it doesn't happen. Just as gay people can't make heterosexuals gay and gay marriage doesn't damage traditional marriage, transgendered persons don't transform children who are not dysphoric. The research is there. With the Internet, it doesn't take much effort to confirm this.

If a child is dysphoric and as a parent you want them to live in misery to spare yourself what you perceive as shame, then it is not the child who has a problem.

Gary Sconce's action showed immense courage. Maybe Oakhurst residents can demonstrate the same courage and give Karen Scot the time needed to know her. They will soon realize their concerns are much ado about nothing.

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