8-year-old transgender boy kicked out of Boy Scouts, report says
An 8-year-old transgender boy has been barred from Cub Scout Pack 87 because other Scouts' parents complained he was born a girl, according to a report by NorthJersey.com.
The report says Joe Maldonado had been a member of the pack for about a month, and his status as a transgender boy wasn't a secret. Joe had been identifying and living as a boy for more than a year, the report says. His mother said none of the fellow Scouts complained — only parents — according to the report.
“It made me mad," the report quotes Joe saying. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
According to the report, the Scouts organization declined to say whether it has a written transgender policy.
The Boy Scouts of America opened its membership to gay scouts in 2013, but made no mention of gender identity in its policy at the time. The Scouts’ longstanding ban on gay adults remained in force. In 2014, the Scouts' new president said he would have moved to allow gay adults in the organization, but at that point opposed any further attempts to address the policy.
The organization eventually changed its stance on that issue as well — voting in 2015 to allow gay Scout leaders.
Last year in California, five girls — not transgender boys, but simply girls — endeavored to get their local Scout pack to accept them as members. A New York Times report noted the significant legal challenges they faced — in particular that Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination by sex, makes an exception for the Boy Scouts.
“We understand that the values and the lessons of scouting are attractive to the entire family,” the national Boy Scouts organization said in an email quoted by the Times. “However, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs for boys and young men.”
The Girl Scouts of America has no prohibition on transgender members — ebut says on its website placement will be handled "on a case-by-case basis."
"Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority," the organization says. "That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe."