Note from Steve Trevelise: When the story broke about the Boy Scouts refusing to allow 8-year-old transgender boy Joe Maldonado into their Secaucus pack, I reached out to my friend and comedian, Julia Scotti, a transgender woman who went to the finals on America's Got Talent to get her thoughts. Here is what she said...

The Boy Scout oath says "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; To help other people at all times, To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

Joe Maldonado is 8 years old and former member of Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, NJ. He was a member for about a month until the parents of some of the other Cub Scouts in his pack pressured him to leave. Joe wasn’t a behavioral problem. He didn’t pick fights with the other members of his pack. And he was happy to be a member.

He was, as the Scout Law requires, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent — all of which is a lot to expect from any 8-year-old child.

But Joe managed those virtues as well as all the others in his Pack, just like everyone else. Still, Joe was pressured to leave Pack 87 by the parents of the other boys.

So what possible motive could these parents have for demanding that an 8-year-old be banished from an organization whose oath demands that “on their honor they will do their best to do their duty to God and country and obey the Scout law; To help other people at all times; to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight?”

Maybe it was that last sentence that provided the loophole for parents to pressure an 8-year-old out of an organization designed to build character.

You see, Joe Maldonado is transgendered — has been for over a year. His mother accepts him. His school does, too. But the Cub Scouts deem him unfit to learn to tie knots, race cars made from pine wood and develop a keen ability to make picture frames out of Popsicle sticks, simply because his birth gender and his gender identity don’t match.

What a valuable life lesson Joe has learned here. These parents have taken an innocent 8-year-old and taught him that he is different, that he is less than his cis-male counterparts and because of that difference, he is to be ostracized, not welcomed, and avoided. To compound matters, the children of these parents, Joe’s former fellow Scouts, who look to their parents as their moral compass, now understand that it is okay to treat trans people with disdain and punish them for simply being who they are.

Well done, parents!

Not surprisingly, Joe is “more angry than sad,” as reported on Tuesday by The Record. "My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It's right to do." Wise words, Joe, and seemingly in line with all the life lessons that the Scouts purport to promulgate.

I’m sure that someday the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will welcome trans kids into their folds. After all it only took 64 years or them to allow troops and packs to be racially integrated.

So much for being morally straight.

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