The Boy Scouts of America, Gay Rights, and Hope

gay rights scouts BSA

When I was in first grade I became a tiger cub. I completed Cub Scouts and cross over into Boy Scouts at age 11. By the end of high school, I backpacked in Philmont, became a member of the Order of the Arrow, worked for my local council for five summers, earned my Eagle, attended a conclave, became a Venturer, went to Sweden for the World Jamboree and became a Vigil Honor member of my OA lodge. The BSA has had a large influence in my life and is partly the reason I am in the majors I am in now. It was a place where I fit in as a nerdy kid in Jr. High.

I am a social liberal and I think that LGBTQ* individuals should not be kicked out of scouting because of something that they have no control or influence over. The fact that my younger brother dropped out of scouting as soon as he came out because of the organization's policies makes me sick to my stomach.

Like Todd Bieber, I have thought about returning my Eagle. It is very hard owning an item from an organization that perpetuates such negative ideas about the LGBTQ* community. But there is something holding me back -- partly the fact that I spent my whole childhood working towards my eagle and partly the fact that I have hope. I have hope that the ban on gay scouts will be removed and that a generation of closeted scouts can come out. Trust me, they exist. I have hope that my brother and his husband will be able to feel OK with enrolling his son in scouts.

This is why I still own my eagle.