Today, after months of deliberations and criticism from both sides of the debate, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has come up with a compromise when it comes to allowing LGBT members into their leadership organization. The deal essentially states that gay scout members are allowed into their organization. But there’s a catch to this deal. The ban on LGBT volunteers and leaders are still very much active, with no signs of being lifted. Some call this a partial victory for the LGBT movement, while I believe that it is anything but a win for us.
This is one of the few times that I’m going to be very candid about my opinion by saying that I am completely disgusted at what this decision today implies. Instead of showing these scouts the importance of leadership and teamwork, they’re being shown how to continually condemn different people with different beliefs as this deal is demonizing to the LGBT community. Seriously what does it say when they are saying that no LGBT volunteers or employees are allowed. What’s their reasoning behind that? Do they think that we prey on young victims and brainwash them into being compact carrying queens? Because if they don’t want us to be mentors to scouts then that means that they believe by nature that we are a manipulative group of people set out to recruit unsuspecting victims. They are essentially implying that we are pedophiles and I am livid at the snide, covert accusation that this decision implies.
This also means that LGBT parents like Jennifer Tyrell can’t even participate with her son in any of the “community” and “family” activities because they don’t believe we are capable or deserving to have the same “rights” as them. How can we trust that they won’t tell him that who his mother is, an out and proud lesbian, that she is wrong for being gay? If they are so indulgent on the notion of honesty, I wish they’d have the courage to say it instead of this vapid attempt to pacify us and the leaders of this community. How do we know that this isn’t some move to ensure whatever manipulative, reparative therapy-like measures will be woven into earning merit badges and by not allowing LGBT volunteers or leaders means they can implement whatever brainwashing techniques to “fix” our children’s beliefs? It’s all hypothetical questions but if they’re still openly excluding us, how can we be assured that ulterior motives are not at play?
Would our children even be allowed to be openly gay in the BSA? Would they condemn the gay scout for any “improper” behavior that they see as “not up to code” when that really means is that anything that they see as feminine or gay. I shake my head at how they would deal with transgendered scout members, a group that has not been mentioned at all by the LGBT activists that are calling this deal a victory. Will they be able to treat a female to male transgendered scout with support and be welcoming or tell them that they’re wrong? Will they allow male to female transgendered scouts to remain in the organization or will they let these scouts be mocked and bullied by other scouts? If they have some implied belief that we’ll grow out of being gay, then they probably will do the same to this group.
And what of the gay scout members in this organization. To me, this implies that the BSA believes that we’ll somehow grow out of being gay. That being gay is just a phase that their Christian Bible Thumping values will somehow lead us out of our “sinful” thinking”. What will they tell to the scout members that come out? Will it be someone nurturing and kind that will sit with the child and help them process this information or will they tell them how they still believe homosexuality is wrong? There are too many questions that no one seems to be asking the Boy Scouts of America.
What happens to the gay scouts who have been with the organization for years as a child and they turn 18? Are they stripped of any titles they spent years on thrown out? Can they no longer progress forward and become an Eagle Scout? What is the point if they can’t even progress any further in the organization? That’s the only conclusion we can come to if they have a cutoff as adults.
All this deal has done at best is present us with more questions than a sign of compromise and change. This may all seem like an outlandish assumption of how they will deal with gay scout members but honestly how do we know we can trust them. So no, this is not a time of celebration for LGBT activists and equal rights advocates. I do not in any way shape or form believe this is a step in the right direction or a show of real progress. This deal is just a more covert, disguised form of prejudice and homophobia. Quite the opposite actually. This is a slap in the face. This is not some change of heart or evolution into seeing that we are people and deserve equal rights. The Boy Scouts of America are STILL condemning who and what we are and to believe anything to the contrary is flat out wrong.
This deal is so reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws, Grandfather Clauses and the 3/5 Compromise of our nation’s history where my African American ancestors were not seen as human. They were denied their rights as citizens and were seen as animals that did not deserve the same treatment that everyone else received because we didn’t fit into the nice, neat little package of “normal good folk“. This deal is saying the same thing, that we are not good enough and cannot be trusted around their children while they can placate any lie and fallacy in ideology onto our children. This deal openly mocks us.
We should be frustrated and upset, because if they don’t trust us, how can we trust them with our children? How can we trust that they will treat instances of bullying fairly when they don’t even believe we have a right to be who we are. Those are the questions we should be asking them right now. It’s about how can we trust them, not the other way around. As a community, we have nothing to prove to these bigots. There’s no way in hell I would ever allow a child of mine in such a demented, callous mindset as the BSA. I do not trust them. And neither should you.