Transgender Louisville boy says he wants to now join Boy Scouts
A Louisville boy says he wants to join the Boy Scouts of America after serving seven years in the Girl Scouts.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville boy says he wants to join the Boy Scouts of America after serving seven years in the Girl Scouts.
Xavier, 12, says he is happy about the latest announcement from the Boy Scouts.
“I think it’s good, but I am not sure how accepting a lot of the people will be,” he said.
On Monday, he Boy Scouts of America released a video announcing they are changing policies regarding transgender scouts, saying they will not require a birth certificate for inclusion into single gender programs.
“Starting today, we will accept registration on our scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application,” said Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh.
Xavier, who was born female and now identifies as male, was a Girl Scout for seven years but quit after identifying as male and is now considering joining the Boy Scouts.
“I couldn’t really go to any of the activities because I was a boy," Xavier said. "Because honestly, it didn’t feel right."
Boy Scouts of America leaders lifted a blanket ban on gay troop leaders and employees in July 2015 amid intense pressure. After heated debate, the group decided in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts.
The national Girl Scouts organization, which is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, has accepted transgender members for years.
Greg Bourke is a former scout leader but could not serve anymore after revealing he is gay. The ban on gay leaders and gay scouts has since been lifted, but a local option remains, still giving religious-affiliated and sponsor-related troops the option to ban gay or transgender leaders.
“The Boy Scouts of America has been making some changes," Burke said. "Very measured, not all at once, not rapid fire, but I think very cautiously."
Bourke hopes that caution will open the door for acceptance for anyone, including leaders, who want to join the Boy Scouts.
“The next step in the evolution of the scouting program as it moves to full equality would be to ban any type of discrimination against LGBT people in either the youth program or for its adult members,” he said.
The Boy Scouts of America add that they look at this latest announcement as a “way to embrace opportunity to bring scouting to more families and children that can benefit from what the program has to offer.”
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