Boy Scouts to accept transgender children

In order to take a break from all the bad news coming out of the Trump administration, I thought a piece of good news would help so here is an item about the Boy Scouts of America deciding to allow transgender children into their programs.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.

The organization said it had made the decision to begin basing enrollment in its boys-only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout. The Boy Scouts had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate for those programs.

The organization’s leadership had considered a recent case in Secaucus, New Jersey, where an 8-year-old transgender child had been asked to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender. But the statement issued Monday said the change was made because of the larger conversation about gender identity going on around the country.

The Boy Scouts said the enrollment decision goes into effect immediately.

Boy Scouts of America leaders lifted a blanket ban on gay troop leaders and employees in July 2015 amid intense pressure. The group had, after heated internal debate, 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.

The BSA had long opposed any attempt to treat members of the LGBT community equally, in marked difference from the Girl Scouts who had often been a leader in making progressive decisions.

What this shows is that even as the country regresses in many ways under the current administration, there are broad positive social currents that even it cannot hold back.


  1. moarscienceplz says

    This is good news, but they still maintain an exclusion of girls, except in Explorers. Why? The Boy Scouts were formed as a feeder into the military, but now that women can be front-line soldiers, that is no longer a valid excuse for sex discrimination. Also, the BSA has tried for decades to downplay that military aspect, focusing instead on fostering things like “leadership” and “good citizenship”; once again, things that girls should be able to be exposed to.

  2. Silentbob says

    The national Girl Scouts organization, which is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, has accepted transgender members for years.

    That’s interesting. Let’s face it, it’s usually trans girls who cop all the shit. There are fewer panics about trans boys.

  3. hyphenman says


    Full disclosure, I’m an Eagle Scout (but one of those who returned his award in 2012) to protest the organization’s then policy prohibiting gay leaders and scouts.

    In the ’70s, when I was an active member as a scout and later as an assistant scout master, there was a move to change the name of the organization to simply Scouts of America. The move was partially influenced by the admission of girls to Explorer Posts, the senior program of Scouting. I left to join the Navy in 1975, so I’m unsure exactly when or how that move died, but I think the time is long past to encourage the change be made.

    We’ve come a long way from the gender roles common in 1910 when The Boy Scouts of America was founded, but not yet far enough. I learned a lot in the scouts, lessons that everyone, regardles can benefit from.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Writ

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