In September when we started a tiger den for my son and some of his classmates. It was going to be fun and scary. But never once did I wonder if any of these newly minted Tigers were not biologically a boy. And honestly, why would I. They looked and dress like boys, yes their voices are high pitched and you could mistake them for girls, but they are six. So I took it at face value that they are all boys.
In December I read about a boy named Joe, a cub scout from New Jersey who was removed from his pack because it was revealed to a District Executive that Joe was biologically not a boy. Joe and his family made no secret that he was biologically a girl, but he lives his life as a little boy. One of the other parents let the cat out of the bag. And since at the time the BSA had no formal protocol dealing with transgendered youth, he was removed. This is a little 8-year-old boy who loves Star Wars and hanging out with his friends in his Cub Scout Den. If I were the den leader or Cubmaster I would have fought the removal. It just wasn't right.
The debate over Joe's removal got all convoluted about transgendered people being sexual predators. Or on the other hand, how can the other boys expect not to do anything to a child who is biologically a girl. Here it is a child who may not be biologically male, but identifies and lives full time as a boy wants to join the scouts because he wants to do all the awesome things Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts do. He isn't some sleeper cell for a sinister LGBTQ agenda. If anything he will try to fit in as much as he can and not call any attention to himself. As far as the other boys, guess what the BSA has rules to protect children (regardless of gender) they are called the Guide to Safe Scouting and Youth Protection. If a scout unit can't keep a child safe, that is not the problem of the child, it a lack of leadership and some badly parented children. And what right does any child have abusing or bullying any other child regardless of gender or gender identity. That has no place in Scouting.
People say why can't that kid just join the Girl Scouts. Well, HE wanted to be with boys his own age and do things boys like him do. I don't know exactly what the Girl Scouts program entails, but they don't have the emphasis on the outdoors that the Boy Scouts do. But they have been super inclusive of LGBTQ children and leaders for a few decades. But I digress, this is not about the Girl Scouts.
Out of the blue, the BSA announced yesterday that they would accept transgender boys into the Scouts. There were not years-long debate. There were not dozens of questionnaires. It just happened. And it was the right thing. A scout is KIND. A scout is FRIENDLY. A Scout is CHEERFUL. A Scout is LOYAL (which the NJ council was not being to Joe). I have been reading a lot on scouting message boards about people saying they are leaving the BSA once and for all. Good leave, we don't need people who don't live up to the scout law in our group. Feel free to join one of the ALT-Right's youth groups, you will find that their program is not as full and developed as the BSAs, and while they may have some of the same ideologies as you, but you better hate all the right things.
I am going to let you in on a secret. There have been transgendered boys in scouting for years. They just happened to not piss off Mrs. Jenkins at the pinewood derby, having her blab a secret that wasn't hers to tell. They have earned badges and nothing bad has happened to them or by them. They were in the good sense of the phrase BOYS being BOYS. And there have been gay youth and adults in scouting long before the membership policy change a few years ago. So anyone who is looking to go back to the good old days, guess who was there in the good old days.
Going back to my den. None of the parents have mentioned to me that their son was once a daughter. And if that were the case even before this I really wouldn't have cared. So today is a good day to be a scout, and I hope that Joe rejoins his den (or another den with fewer asshole grownups) really soon.
FYI - The photo of the scouts above is a stock photo.