OAKHURST, CA, April 11, 2014 ( – Gary Sconce, a 56-year-old male teacher at Yosemite High School in California, will return to school as “she” after spring break.  He has rejected every facet of his male identity over the last year and told NBC News, “I will not return as my male persona ever again.”

Instead, he would now like to be known to students and faculty as Karen Adell Scot and referred to as “she.”

The New York Daily News reports that Sconce wrote, “I covered the female inside with hyper-masculine behavior, trying to provide I was not the woman inside I actually was.”


Sconce has been a science and multi-media teacher at Yosemite for 24 years and is a husband, father and grandfather.  Since he “came out,” his wife of 35 years has filed for divorce and his 31-year-old daughter has ended her relationship with him. 

Yet Sconce justifies his decision, saying he has found “joy” in his new status as a woman. “Being transgender is not a choice,” he says.

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He is taking drugs to block testosterone, is adding female hormones and hopes to have “gender-reassignment” surgery at some point in the future.

When a letter he wrote to the school board about his coming transformation unexpectedly got leaked to a local newspaper, Sconce had to tell students about his new persona before spring break instead of afterwards. 

The Yosemite school board has fiercely defended Sconce’s decision and what they view as his right to gender expression.  Principal Randy Seals said, “This is a unique situation, one that challenges traditional ideas, philosophies and belief systems for many people.”

Kathy Bales, a woman from the neighborhood of Oakhurst, California where the high school is located, wrote a letter to the Sierra Star questioning Sconce’s decision. “Are we willing to fall prey to grey area thinking, like live and let live, or who are we to judge? I see this as an assault on the minds and morals of our children. It blurs the lines of what is right and wrong,” she wrote.

“I challenge the adults of this community to take a stand for our children, showing them that there is a time not to accept the unacceptable, rather to identify a wrong and stand firm against ever accepting it as a right,” she added.