Caitlin Flynn
March 06, 2017 2:47 pm
Sudowoodo/Getty Images

“Alternative facts” have become par for the course in 2017, so it’s more important than ever to use good, old-fashioned “real facts” to combat bigotry. When she saw a hateful, factually inaccurate meme on Facebook, a biology teacher used science to take down transphobia. The original post, which described being transgender as a “psychological disorder” tried (and failed) to use science as an excuse for transphobia.

The offensive meme claims that chromosomes define two sexes in sexual species, so anything other than an XX (female) or XY (male) chromosome pairing is a mutation. According to the meme, the chromosome pairing determines our gender. Sex and gender aren’t the same thing, but there’s a whole lot of other scientific information that totally destroys this argument.

Who better to tackle this outrageous claim than a biology teacher? Grace Pokela stepped up to provide the perfect response.

Although the original poster naturally didn’t clarify whether or not they were discussing humans (because apparently discussions about people’s lives and identities aren’t worthy of those details), Pokela elaborated further.

And finally:

“Don’t use science to justify your bigotry. The world is way too weird for that shit.”

Mic drop.

Unfortunately, we can’t always change people’s prejudiced thought patterns — but it is on us to call them out when they attempt to use “fake science” and present alternative facts as reality.

Unfortunately, we can’t always change people’s prejudiced thought patterns — but it is on us to call them out when they attempt to use “fake science” and present alternative facts as reality.

Unfortunately, we can’t always change people’s prejudiced thought patterns — but it is on us to call them out when they attempt to use “fake science” and present alternative facts as reality.

It’s dangerous to let these statements go unchecked, especially when it comes a community that is already the target of hate crimes.

Claiming there’s a scientific reason for any form of discrimination further endangers transgender individuals at a time when the current administration has removed some of their most basic protections.

Pokela provided some accessible, enlightening information that we should keep on hand in case we ever hear a “scientific” argument used to justify transphobia. We can never let “alternative facts” be normalized.

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