Fight Bigotry: Eat Girl Scout Cookies!

Via on Jan 12, 2012

One of my favorite Christian ministers was the late Rev. Fred Rogers. Known as “Mr. Rogers,” Fred was a Presbyterian pastor, who devoted his life to a children’s television show that wasn’t church, but was very much his ministry. This gentle man began every show by entering a house, taking of his sport-coat and dress shoes, and putting on a cardigan and sneakers. He sang some dorky songs. One of them went like this:
Some are fancy on the outside.
Some are fancy on the inside.
Everybody’s fancy.
Everybody’s fine.
Your body’s fancy and so is mine.


That song was empowering to me and my twin sister as we compared each others special parts and knew that we were a-okay.

Well, some kids, are even more special, and just as a-okay. Some kids have boy parts and yet in their minds, they know that they are girls and visa versa. Though a tiny percentage of the population,  a staggering 41 percent of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide. About 19 percent of transgender people report being refused medical care because of their gender-nonconforming status, and a shocking 2 percent have been violently assaulted in a doctor’s office.

And…. they are often discriminated against … even at a young age.

Case in point. 7-year old Bobby Montoya’s being denied admittance into the Girl Scouts because “she has boy parts.”

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That story broke last October but had a happy ending. The Scout leader who told Bobby she couldn’t join was mistaken about Girl Scouts of Colorado policies and Bobby was admitted.

It is now official GS policy that any child presenting as a girl is welcome. They also have a longstanding tradition of accepting lesbian scout leaders and scouts. They are also fully accepting of all religions (and atheists) and while the Girl Scout Law & Promise include the word “God,” there are alternative versions that are totally accepted.

And YET….

…ONE  ex-Girl Scout seems to have her pretty pink knickers in a twist.

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Even though she doesn’t live in Colorado, where Bobby is a Scout, and even though she quit the Girl Scouts, 14 year old “Taylor” is launching a campaign to encourage Americans to boycott the purchase of Girl Scout cookies because she feels that the Girl Scouts are deceiving America’s girls by letting in boys in girls clothing. Never mind the fact that the percentage of transgendered people is very low, and the percentage of them who’d wish to be Girl Scouts is even lower, she’s perceiving that the sky is falling and that next thing we’ll know, cats and dogs will be sleeping together! The horror.

Okay gang,

in the name of Mr. Rogers, in the name of  the Bobby Montoyas of the world, and in the name of all that is holy, 

let’s order a LOT of Girl Scout cookies this year!!

Let’s counter this horridly bigoted boycott by helping to make this year’s cookie sale the most successful yet!

You can find your local Cookie Sellers here. They also tend to have card tables set up at  the front doors of grocery stores. They tend to sell them at church too. A Thin Mint or a Samoa sound like a lovely post-Communion treat. : )

As a health-related transition, ironically, while being inclusive of trans-gendered kids, Girl Scout cookies are now trans-fat free! Here’s a petition to sign to let the Girl Scouts know that you support them!

Rev. Roger Wolsey, Eagle Scout class of 1986

p.s. **On a related note, unlike the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts of America (while a wonderful organization) still does not allow officially gay or atheist scouts or leaders. But, as with the United Methodist Church (which also doesn’t officially allow gay leaders), each regional Council (or Conference) and each local troop (or congregation) has wide variance in their actual policies. Many councils and troops either have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, or they simply don’t enforce the official prohibition against being gay.  I intend to help change both the Boy Scouts of America and the United Methodist Church from the inside.

Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist minister and is the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity. He blogs for Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, and Patheos.

About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity

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33 Responses to “Fight Bigotry: Eat Girl Scout Cookies!”

  1. Deb Rhoades says:

    I got bored with the young girl's blah blah blah..however..Fab write up Roger ! : )) Keep up the great work !

  2. Gina says:

    I used to be a Brownie, but never made it in Girl Scouts – I was too much of a rebel, but I always loved the cookies. I may now have the perfect excuse/cause to break my diet and get some… My boys will be soooo happy. :)

  3. Love it Roger! One more reason I am proud to be a Girl Scout leader!

  4. WTF says:

    This "girl" is only 14 years of age, not sure if anyone will take the opinion of 14 years old "girl" seriously. If the 'girl" is over 25 years old, then obviously I will take the comment or the opinion seriously. "She" probably been brainwashed by "her" parents, community, church or other organisation. Well, "her" occupation is "Truth Seekers", hopefully "she" find out what "she" looking for, best of luck.

  5. Rev. Deb says:

    Here in Minnesota one of the greatest supporters of GS is Ann Reed. If you don't know her or her music, check her out.

  6. cathy says:

    You can support them by buying the cookies and then giving them to a local shelter if you don't eat sweets….

  7. SwamiHenderson says:

    I've got a craving for some GS cookies!

  8. [...] Here’s a link to a serious-business, professional article on the matter. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  9. thepastwearswell says:

    Sir, I respectfully submit that Mr Fred Rogers was never in the military. Here is a link to his bio page on the Museum of Broadcast Communications website: http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=ro

    Otherwise, excellent article and I am looking forward to purchasing my yearly cookies!

    • Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

      Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I've corrected the blog. I apparently fell victim to a false rumor that had spread about him on the internet starting back in 1994. This makes more sense as I had a hard time seeing how that gentle man could've hurt a fly let alone been a soldier.

  10. vikki says:

    Great article as always, Roger, but just a heads up: Fred Rogers was not a Marine.

  11. Oh, man, am I gonna pig out on the Thin Mints, this year…

  12. Jesus_Marley says:

    And yet, while the boy scouts will accept girls (by law) both as members as as support staff, The GS are allowed to freely discriminate against men and boys from joining or volunteering. As a single father of a daughter, I am precluded from participating in the organization with my daughter. I am not allowed to volunteer or chaperone even provided that I sleep in segregated quarters. This is why I will not support this discriminatory organization.

    • guest says:

      while I can understand your upset, given the recent sexual assault cases I think not allowing males to chaperon is not discriminatory but sensible (even assuming you wouldn't do anything icky)

    • CynthiaBeard says:

      I'm wondering if this is a troop or council policy. When I was in Girl Scouts (many moons ago), we had lots of involvement from the fathers.

    • Deb N says:

      Actually, Jesus_Marley, you are mistaken. Men can be Girl Scout volunteers. Just like any other volunteer, you must follow the policies that require you to complete a volunteer application, have a background check, register as a member, and take training for your position. Yes, is it true that you will have separate bathroom and sleeping accommodations, but that would be the rule if you chaparoned a school trip, a sports group, etc. In Girl Scouting we are helping to develop leadership skills in girls. We are leading by example and showing women in leadership roles. So,you may volunteer, but you will work along side of a female volunteer.

      A Girl Scout professional staff member

  13. justthisbreath says:

    "….currently SERVING (caps mine) in Girl Scout troops…"?? Ha, ha, ha….I just had a mental image of them marching off to war with their little badge sashes…

  14. Melinda says:

    I would truly like to support this incredible cause in support of transgender children and acceptance of ALL. Mr. Rogers was my children’s hero — he was like a dad in the television a half hour every day – sad but true and he did offer so much! I have to decline though in buying or supporting Girl Scout cookies. I am totally abstaining from those cookie delights in protest for the Girl Scout supported use of Palm Oil in their cookies which is greatly adding to the extinction of baboons. There are plenty of other oil options but those who have the decision making power so far have opted out of using them, instead only offering cookies made with palm oil and in consequence supporting the death of God’s beautiful creatures. I wish the ex-Girl Scout mentioned in your blog would put her misaligned energy (and those urging her on) into saving the baboons instead of her cause of promoting bigotry. I’d buy the cookies if I could but as it stands, I will not.

  15. Sarah Boyce says:

    while I am behind the Scouts in principle – and two of my girls are GS – I find the "30's style" administration oppressive and sometimes downright scary! Add this to my reading about 2 dedicated girls getting bumped from Scouts – all because their research tried to make cookies more healthy – and the jungles less scathed… that was the last straw… So GS cookies are now transfat free? Free of Palm Oil? I hope yes… Here's the article from WSJ – may 20 2011
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704

  16. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    Dear Readers, I had to switch-out the video clip of Taylor spewing her hate. Seems she made her video private within the last 24 hours. However, someone was able to capture her video before she hid it. Here it is in all it's glory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD41W5mIWmY&fe… : (

  17. CynthiaBeard says:

    This blog has raised a lot of interesting issues related to the Girl Scouts. Cookies aside, I think the most important thing to consider, with regard to the girl's video, is that children should not be forced to "disclose" their genitalia in order to join an organization. Intersex children have varying degrees of both male and female genitalia, and if these sorts of biological examinations are conducted, those children could find themselves excluded from both the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts. A respectful approach to the issue of gender identity is to refrain from asking people about their genitals. And really, that's just common courtesy in general. Seriously, I am not quite sure how I would respond if someone approached me and asked, "Do you have a vagina….or do you have a penis?" other than to say, "That information is irrelevant unless you are my doctor or if we are considering being physically intimate."

  18. LisaE says:

    Now if the boyscouts would just follow suit!

  19. Frank says:

    God made us male and female, sin makes everything else! It's not love to allow someone to not be who God created them to be. Its sinful and hateful to encourage someone to be someone they are not!

  20. [...] need a beacon for the LGBT children of this country, and for the world. Our children need a voice, one that speaks not for them, but on behalf of them. This pillar of strength is [...]

  21. Cristina says:

    you guys are sick!!! seriously, im 15 years old, and i have more common sense than you guys. you should be reported for being so sneaky, so what if a girl my age has an opinion that isnt yours, you dont have to ban together like some evil dummycrats (democrats) and shoot her down what happened to freedom of speech. no wonder america is falling apart, its because of horrible people like YOU! congrats, your making the world a worse place

  22. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    Vikki, thanks. See my comment to "thepastwearswell" above. : )

  23. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    To make this clear, I'm in favor of Girl Scouts allowing whoever they wish to be members (even before they decided to allow transgendered persons to become members), but I celebrate their decision to become even more inclusive. This makes all kinds of sense for an organization that seeks to instill values of citizenship and patriotism. Similarly, I am in favor of the Boy Scouts being able to determine who they choose to allow to be members or to serve as volunteers and leaders. However, count me in with "the masses" who are seeking to urge them to allow homosexuals to be members and to serve as volunteers as leaders. My son has been a Cub Scout and will be a Boy Scout next year. I've served as a leader and will do so again … and from within their ranks, I will be working to help them move to drop their discriminatory policy.

  24. llb is correct, male leaders, volunteers and staff are more than welcome!

  25. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    How can I contact Kalina? Also here is the original article on Huffington Post which seemed to officially state that Bobby had been admitted. see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/bobby-mo

  26. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    This is from the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/21/2599062/coo
    So far, that I can tell, you're the only one who is making the assertions that you are.

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