By Marbella Trujillo ’20
January 30, 2017 marked a historical day for The Boy Scouts of America. For the first time, they are starting to allow transgender youth to enroll into the scouting program. In addition, not only will they allow transgender youth to join, but they will also be abandoning the policy that only accepted boys based on the gender listed on their birth certificate.
“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,”said Effie Delimarkos in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
This issue may have been heightened over the incident last year in which a Joe Maldonado, a transgender boy, was denied entrance into his local boy scout troop in New Jersey because he didn’t meet eligibility requirements. This event later led to Maldonado and his family filing a discrimination complaint. However, this issue should no longer be a problem. Delimarkos also added that once admitted, Boy Scouts will do everything in their power to assign the scout to a unit that could best provide the interests and needs of that child.
When interviewing my friend, Dylan Gallagher, he said he was at first surprised and glad with the news. He is planning on joining a local troop. When attending the meetings with his brother, he enjoyed it and found interest in joining but never thought it would be able to happen. He finds comfort in knowing that BSA is becoming more accepting and is catching up to today’s society. He later added that it makes him feel more valid about his gender.