Congratulations, Joe Maldonado. At the age of 8, you have become a hero in the eyes of many. You helped make the path for those who come after you a little bit easier.

Joe is the transgender boy from Secaucus who was kicked out of his North Jersey Cub Scout pack after other Scouts' parents complained because he was born a girl. Joe's mother, Kristie Maldonado, had said she was going to file a discrimination complaint against the regional chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Kristie Maldonado received a phone call Monday Night from the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts telling her that her son would be welcome back as a cub scout, NorthJersey.com reports. But that's not all that happened Monday night. The Associated Press reports the Boy Scouts of America will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs, effective immediately.

Whether it was the fear of a lawsuit or the desire to avoid public scrutiny that led to this outcome, this is the correct decision. When the initial report came out regarding Joe being banned from the Cub Scouts, the one thing that stood out to me was something that didn't exist. That was an actual policy regarding transgender boys. Essentially the decision to issue the initial ban was made to accommodate other adults with antiquated beliefs and a fear of the unknown. There was no Boy Scouts of America rulebook to hide behind or a superior to forward the calls to.

Moving forward, however, there will be a policy regarding transgender boys. That policy is there because of Joe Maldonado — the newest, and perhaps youngest New Jersey hero.

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