ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Now that the Boy Scouts of America has voted to end its ban on gay adults, another question of sexual identity comes from Jane White, a St. Louisan that is transgender. Will she be able to rejoin the scouts?
Related Story: BSA Allows Gay Leaders, Churches Can Still Be Exclusive
White’s next step is to work with the Boy Scouts to include transgender youth in activities.
She remembers when her sons were in scouting and she was a leader, but transitioning to a man. “I’d come home, take off my nail polish, take off my hair, put on drab clothes and take my son to meetings.”
Eventually she decided to voluntarily leave scouting, because she felt she wouldn’t be accepted by the scouting community. “I delayed transitioning for a year, because I didn’t want to give up scouting.” Now she’s hoping to rejoin that same troop as a woman.
“They are trying to get some guidance on what they can do,” says White. The greater St. Louis Council of the Boy Scouts said in a written statement, “For all programs, the scouts use the participant’s birth certificate.”
The new policy allows religious chartered organizations to continue to use their religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders including matters of sexuality. The Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America says in a statement, “Moving forward, we will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth, helping them grow into good, strong citizens. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.”
White says she’s glad the new Boy Scout guidelines allow religious troop sponsors to decide if they’ll accept gay adults.
“I’m a firm believer in religious beliefs. Just because I don’t agree with those views, doesn’t mean they aren’t important to them,” says White. “This gives parents a chance to pick a unit that better reflects their values.”
White is hoping the Boy Scouts follow the Girl Scouts lead and allow transgender youth to be part of the organization.
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