Scott Turner Schofield is an award-winning performer and highly acclaimed diversity speaker on Transgender issues. Inviting a presentation, workshop, reading or performance guarantees high-level, in-depth exploration of the T in GBLTQ aimed at welcoming beginners, affirming communities, and equipping advocates. At least, that’s what university administrators, artistic directors, and HR departments have been saying for over a decade now.
Welcome to my world, and thank you for your interest. I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish in terms of teaching gender diversity across a wild and wide field - from boardrooms to blackboxes, classrooms to temples. But I am nothing without the people who taught me.
I caught the bug for diversity training when I took the National Coalition Building Institute’s Train the Trainer program at 17 years old. I never stopped connecting people across difference since then, and my passion for this work was indelibly stamped on me during a trip I took to South Africa, where my small group had a private audience with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
My first job out of college was with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls who taught me how to be an artist and an activist at the same time.
In my artistic career, Penny Arcade, Holly Hughes, Carmelita Tropicana, Tim Miller, and Peggy Shaw gave me the inside scoop on how to make your own work about social issues, and the true importance of the First Amendment. My writing teachers boast a Pulizer Prize (David Kranes, Natasha Trethewey) and a National Book Award (Ha Jin); one is a Nobel Laureate (Wole Soyinka) and another the Poet Laureate of the United States (Natasha Trethewey). In college I received a prize for non-fiction writing from Adrienne Rich. I’ve honed my performance craft with the masters at SITI Company and DAH Teatar in Belgrade, and I spent a year touring within the National Theater system of France under the direction of Eric Vigner. When I received the Princess Grace Award for Acting, Ruth Maleczech of Mabou Mines told me “I fought for you. You’re a real artist.” The National Performance Network proved her right when they made me the first transperson to receive a Creation Fund Commission in 2007.
In any context, I teach about gender diversity, bullying, and being yourself no matter what. My “day job” is consulting for youth groups and universities, and adults in corporate America to help everyone embrace LGBTQ people. Kate Bornstein came into my life in 2002, and has been a great mentor both for teaching a complex subject simply, and for how to stay kind and cheerful against all odds. I am grateful for the support of Dr. Jack Halberstam, who pushes me for academic rigor and pop-culture relevance as I teach and write about how Queer Theory plays out in everyday life.
Those are just the folks you may know by name. I have been blessed with amazing teachers throughout my life since pre-school who taught me to be who I am proudly, always do my best, and achieve my own excellence. But nothing would get done without countless people on the ground who work for change. Because of the tireless efforts of local advocates, my workshops catalyzed major policy changes for Trans* people at the University of Central Florida and the University of Illinois - the 2nd and 4th largest public schools in the country, respectively. Nothing happens by the will of one person alone.
I dedicate this path and all of this work to my spiritual teacher, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, who teaches that the soul has no gender, and that there are no throwaway people. Thanks to her, I’m doing all I can to live double, and feed everyone, in every way I can.
How can we expand this work together?
Scott performing Debutante Balls
Scott on high school Homecoming court
Scott in Minnie Mouse costume