Feb 9, 2017
After over a century, the Boys Scouts of America will accept members based on the gender listed on their initial application.
The Boy Scouts of America serves as one of the largest youth-serving organizations in the country. The Boy Scouts of America believe and, through nearly a century of experience, understand that helping youth puts us on a path toward a more conscientious, responsible and productive society, according to their website.
The acceptance of transgender boys began after Boy Scouts of America released a statement regarding gender identity Jan. 30.
“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” the groups said in a statement. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient, as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”
This announcement reverses a policy that prohibited a transgender boy from joining the organization in New Jersey last year within a month of being accepted.
Northwest sophomore Lukas Alan identifies as a trans male and believes there is no reason that these boys should not be allowed into a boys group.
“The fact that people are allowing trans male youth into Boy Scouts of America is good, but it’s late in the fight,” Alan said. “The fact that trans girls aren’t allowed in Girl Scouts of America sucks, but we will get there. The fight is just starting. The fact that Trump is president means we will only have to fight that much harder.”
In 2013, Boy Scouts of America expanded rights for gay youth by ending its ban on openly gay youth from joining.
Boy Scouts of America claim nearly 2.3 members, according to its website. It promotes lifelong learning as one of the many things it tries to get youth involved in.
“People need to learn all through their lives,” the website said. “We live in a society that rewards continual acquisition of skills and knowledge. Scouting provides structured settings where young people can learn new skills and develop habits of continual learning that will help them succeed. From its foundation, scouting has offered a concrete program of discovering, sharing and applying knowledge and skills.”
Published February 9, 2017 @TheMissourian