Over the past years, Boy Scouts of America has shifted in many of their centuries old strict policies regarding LGBT+ members and leaders. On Tuesday Scout history was made when Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh announced that they will no longer be following the gender on an individual’s birth certificate, rather whichever gender the child identifies as.
This means that transgender boys will now be allowed to join the Boy Scouts. Surbaugh says with passion, “Scouting is about one thing, to prepare young people for life with the goal of instilling in them skills to develop character and leadership.” This is a weight lifted off of many transgender youths’ shoulders. The Girl Scouts of America also allow transgender girls in their troupes, they work on a case to case basis with each girl like they have been for many years. The Boy Scouts used to have a very harsh LGBT+ policy that prohibited membership of those who identify as homosexual until the rule was lifted in 2013. Two years after, in 2015 they lifted the ban on openly gay adults as Scout Leaders. Similarly, the Girl Scouts had an openly gay Chief Girl Experience Officer in 2013. Though it has taken some time for these groups to adjust, it is amazing how inclusive they have become. The Scouts also say that they will work with each individual child and make sure they’re in a troupe that is right for them.
This implements tolerance and acceptance from a young age, normalizing being transgender can the community advance even further. Having students actually know someone who is transgender helps get rid of false preconceived notions and prejudices against the community. It’s obvious that the Scouts have put all children first and want to teach them to be accepting of everyone. Since being a part of a scout troupe is so important to many children, it’s wonderful that now everyone will be accepted.