*I cannot get CeCe Peniston’s club hit “Finally” out of my head.
Membership in both the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is now based on the gender indicated on an application, NOT on the gender listed on an applicant’s birth certificate.
They’ve FINALLY come to the conclusion that relying on an individual’s birth certificate “…is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state,” a BSA spokesperson said in a statement Monday.
In other words, the Boy Scouts of America has joined the 21st century, and I extend a hearty “Welcome aboard!”
Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality, agrees with me.
“This is another historic day for the Boy Scouts of America,” Wahls said. “The decision to allow transgender boys to participate in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is an important step forward for this American institution.”
I’ll confess that it’s a step I never quite understood the need to take. In fact, I never quite understood transphobia at all.
To my mind, if you say you’re a boy, you’re a boy. If you say you’re a girl, you’re a girl. It’s only when I’m interested in someone sexually that I begin to care about what’s on someone’s birth certificate or between someone’s legs (and to be clear, even that’s not a deal-breaker for me).
So when you’re looking at something as simple as membership in an organization, one for children no less, I have never understood why an organization like BSA would care about whether the gender on an applicant’s birth certificate matched the gender stated on the individual’s application.
I don’t know about yours, but MY birth certificate was issued LONG before I was old enough to have anything to say about what was on it. Just like I didn’t get to chose my name, I had nothing to do with the gender I was assigned at the hospital. Thankfully, for me, the hospital staff were right, but if they’d gotten it wrong, I would have been denied access to gender-based groups of interest.
Now, in 2017, organizations like the Boy Scouts of America are taking steps to make sure all children feel accepted and welcomed, independent of their gender or gender expression. It’s a day I’m thankful I lived to see.
To celebrate the Boy Scouts’ new policy, I’m planning to hit the club this weekend and dance one out for my trans Boy Scouts! Hope to see you there!
This blog was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman, who always looks for an excuse to “dance one out.” Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP.