A biology teacher responded to an obnoxious, erroneous Facebook post with real science
Grace Pokela finally got sick and tired of the fake views about gender identity going around Facebook, and used her knowledge as a science teacher to shut down an offensive meme she spotted on her page.
Actual science 1, Facebook science 0.
The Huffington Post spoke with Grace after she posted a response to the meme on her Facebook page and it promptly exploded with over 40K likes and more than 25K shares.
The meme that raised Grace’s ire made the claim that it was a psychological disorder to identify with a gender different than the one you’re born with.
“In a sexual species, females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y, I’m not a bigot it’s just science.”
“Being one sex but thinking you’re the other is a psychological disorder.”
“Mandating a widespread enabling of a psychological disorder is sociopathy.”
Grace, who is gay, had had enough. She decided to fight ignorance with facts. Real ones.
“You can be male because you were born female, but you have 5-alpha reductase deficiency and so you grew a penis at age 12. You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome but you are insensitive to androgens, and so you have a female body,” she posted.
What followed was an extremely detailed and scientific explanation of all the ways gender and sexual orientation can vary, fully supported by science and facts.
She wrapped it up with a neat little bow: “Don’t use science to justify your bigotry. The world is way too weird for that sh*t.”
Pokula, who is from South Dakota, had posted such rants before – she’s long been sick of seeing false information spread all over the web, often at the hands of conservative voters. “The fact that a group of people would deny evolution, deny global warming, and deny basic principals of ecology but then turn around and use science to support their bigotry,” she says, “was something I found repellent.”
This is the first time one of her responses has gone viral. And she’s already changed at least one mind.
“I had someone say that I had changed her mind,” she tells Huffington Post. “I’m paraphrasing, but she basically said, ‘Before today, my heart wasn’t transphobic, but my mind was. You made something click for me today.’ That was incredibly special.”
It was obvious to her the person who wrote the meme “wasn’t a scientist or an educator, and in fact had no interest in science.” Thankfully, Grace has both an interest in science and an appreciation for empathy.
“Seriously, if you are ignorant about something, please err on the side of tolerance.”