Sorry, You Can’t Be a Boy Scout. ~ Jamie Morgan

Via on Jul 18, 2012
Photo credit: Bruno Postigo

Are You Gay? Sorry, You Can’t Be a Boy Scout.

If we are being up front here, the Boy Scouts of America should really adopt an additional two letters in their acronym: AGBSA.

You know, Anti-Gay Boy Scouts of America.

Because that’s exactly what they are.

In case you’ve yet to hear, the nation became aware yesterday that yes, the organization that’s raised and continues to raise thousands of our children will continue the 12-year ban on gay members—both youth and adults.

It’s like the ultimate form of bullying.

The biggest, most exclusive club some kids can never join.

And that’s what they are, for the most part: kids. They are fragile, confused, coming to terms with whom and what they are.

They shouldn’t have to experience the world’s hate, distaste, prejudice.

They just learned how to ride a bike.

Growing up, boys already have to worry about getting picked last in gym class, changing in the locker room and being teased over their lack of carnal knowledge of the opposite sex by age 13.

And if they have decided that, maybe, they never wish to have said knowledge because they are a fan of their own sex, they are deemed “different.”

Outsiders.

They can’t even run around in the woods wearing a cargo vest glittered in colorful patches, an honor granted to any and all of the boys back when their daddy earned the coveted standing of Eagle Scout.

And what about if they haven’t decided? What if they are…curious? What if pops earned this title and the kid can’t bear the thought of letting him down by not following in his footsteps?

Will he fight it, suppress it? Will he feel disgusting, shameful, wrong…all by what, age nine?

Let’s continue to spit in the face of the future generations of homosexuals, America.

You’re right, kids should be no exception.

Notice the sarcasm. In bold.

My dad was a scout. My brother was a scout. Both are straight, but neither entitled, neither superior.

When my brother was growing up, dad was active in his role with the organization—he traveled on the camping trips, supervised the troupe, climbed around in all-too-small caves and dug in the dirt.

Many of the dads were too busy with their pent-house-suite, beach-house-loving lifestyle or just too uninterested to do the same.

It’s impossible for me to know if these were gay, straight, bisexual, what have you, but I find it hard to believe that a father’s active involvement, regardless of his sexual orientation, should ever be considered a bad thing.

For all I know, there are gay fathers lined up around the block, open and eager to fumble around with a map and compass in the woods, laugh and run around with their sons and dig in that same dirt.

Problem is, we will never know.

They say openly homosexual men aren’t “desirable” role models for children, but I’d like to counter this and say that the BSA itself is an undesirable force to look up to and aim to be like.

It is teaching kids and adults alike that heterosexuality is the only way and we must not only frown upon all else, but separate ourselves from it in segregation, ignorance and degradation.

I am not a gay-rights-activist, nor am I particularly passionate for the scouts organizations and all that they stand for (drop-out Girl Scout, right here baby).

I am, however, rather shocked and appalled that in this day and age, with the abundance of diversity, culture, awareness and change in this country, the BSA has reaffrimed this place on the outside for what seems to be years to come.

An aspiring journalist, fashion enthusiast and lover of all things yoga, dance and green, Jamie packed up her life nine months ago and made the big move to Madrid, Spain from little old Ohio. Spending her days as an English teacher and soul-searcher, she is completely fascinated by international languages and cultures and won’t be satisfied until she’s seen it all. And so it begins.

 

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9 Responses to “Sorry, You Can’t Be a Boy Scout. ~ Jamie Morgan”

  1. Roger Wolsey Roger Wolsey says:

    I'm an Eagle Scout and now have my son in scouting. I'm also a pro-LGBTQ activist. Despite the national level policies of the BSA, each regional Council and local troop tends to have freedom in how they run things. Not all troops are anti-gay. I'm seeking to help change things from the inside.

    • So happy to see that, Roger! I know the Girl Scouts have made major strides over the past few years, including accepting transgender scouts (which I think you blogged?). I'd love to have my son participate in scouting, but only if it was a group that clearly accepted any boy and any parent who wanted to participate.

    • Jamie says:

      Great to hear, Roger. I'm glad that the organization on a local level can make some changes, and I applaud you for aiming to do just that!

  2. edieyoga says:

    Loved this. Posting on FB main page. Thank you.

  3. Jake says:

    Let me help you (an uninformed inspiring journalist) with your facts.

    BSA does not condone ANY “teaching” of sexuality of ANY kind. That in itself would be grounds for expulsion.

    The policy is clear to state that only “open or avowed” homosexuals are prohibited. Nice of you to so simply generalize your comment for “gay” members…but sensationalistic writing with catchy headlines gets more hits right? I hear Yahoo is always looking for contributors as well…might want to look into that.

    As stated in above post, the policy is not and has never been restricting to any district on any localized level.

    And for the record, the age limit starts at 11, not 9. You might want to incorporate some research into your writing if you plan to establish any credibility.

    Sorry to hear you were a GS dropout. Did you also dropout of “Ethics in Journalism” as well because of that hunk of a professor that was teaching “Yellow Journalism”.

    Can’t wait for your next “article”.

    • Hi Jake, this is a personal opinion blog, not "journalism." But while we're on the subject, Boy Scouts eligibility (Cub Scouts) starts in first grade, which is generally 6 -7 years old. There have been several nationally publicized cases of gay fathers asked to step down from participating in their son's troops, and to me, there is no difference between saying gay members are only banned if they are "open and avowed" and banning them altogether.

      If it were a private group that received no federal monies, fine. I wouldn't feel comfortable supporting them, but wouldn't really feel like it was any of my business. But since they do, I think it's worth discussing.

    • Jamie says:

      Hi Jake,
      In response to your comment, I am well aware that the BSA does not "teach" sexuality, but what concerns me is the message it is sending on a national level (which acquires national media attention) stating that it is a policy, not an opinion, that homosexuality does not have a place in the org—which in my opinion is trying to teach something in itself.

      I am also aware that only "open" homosexuals are prohibited, and that is why the article explores the fact that a child or adult would feel the need to supress and/or hide their feelings, because frankly, with this being said gay members clearly are being discriminated against (seeing as open heterosexuals are perfectly fine), and any that are in a relationship are eliminated from joining.

      That being said, regardless of the age of official admittance to the org, the context in which I mentioned the age of 9 is simply to say that if and when a child would be interested to get involved or is involved, these feelings are inevitable, wanting to hide something unexcepted among the group (which from what I hear and read in the paper this morning every local group is not as lenient as you'd like to think).

  4. Jamie says:

    If this were a journalistic piece, I would be the first to say I screwed up—this thing is full of opinion! But as Kate said, this is an opinionated piece and I don't claim to be an authority on the subject. I only hoped to provide a springboard of discussion, a space to discuss the issue, which I'm hoping we can agree is much more important and interesting than false allegations and personal bashing of yours truly (but you will have to tell me more about this hunky professor) ;)

  5. [...] We need to talk to each other about gay rights. Not at each other via [...]

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