Boy Scouts Are Not So Bad
By: Carol Rood
We missed our weekly Boy Scout meeting last night. I spent the weekend dealing with my my lovely K’s illness and driving boys around. K developed an intestinal problem (we will leave it at that) on Saturday night and was able to tolerate toast by yesterday afternoon. I developed some cold symptoms yesterday morning, and was unable to muster enough energy to get the boys to Scouts last night. The youngest son, The Brain, had spent the weekend camping, so he was okay with that. His older brother, Joe Cool, would rather play the PS3 anyway, so he didn’t seem to mind either.
Yesterday in the mid afternoon I sent an email to the Scout leader letting him know that Bluebell and I were both sick and that the boys would not be at Scouts that evening. He thanked me for leaving our germs at home. That got me thinking about our Scout troop. Bluebell and I have been attending events, Court of Honor, Popcorn sales, Spaghetti dinners, etc together with this troop for four years. She and I pick up the boys, drop off the boys, drive them to camp outs, either together or separately. None of the adult leaders has ever had a negative thing to say to us or our boys about the “same genderedness” of our relationship. We never hide the fact that we are a family. It is not swept under the rug; it is out in the open.
Then I started thinking about other families I know that have same-gendered parents whose sons are in Boy Scouts. My friend S. has a son in another Scout troop in our area. She is a trained leader. She attends all of the camp outs and leads the boys. She is married to her female partner. The troop leaders know this, and they have no problem with it. (I am not going to name the troops so they don’t get any pressure from outside groups to change their behavior.) She is an openly lesbian woman in a leadership position with a Boy Scout troop.
There is a new family at my church. They are also a lesbian-led family. Two moms, and boys in Scouts. They are new, so I have not had an opportunity to have a long discussion with her about how the troop treats them, however, I did learn that her boys are very active in their troop, so I am curious…
I have also found a blog I LOVE to read called “Doorknobs That Lock”. They are a two-mom family with a son the same age as Joe Cool who is also very active in Boy Scouts. They live in a state that allows legal marriage and they are legally married! YAY! Their son is active in a Boy Scout troop with two moms who are legally marred to each other. That troop is also doing the right thing.
All of this made me wonder if the Boy Scouts of America are really homophobic –or are they just against men who are gay being involved in Boy Scouts? Most of the stories I have seen online and heard about talk about males getting asked to leave the BSA due to being openly gay. So I am thinking maybe gay women are less threatening? The thought that gay men are predators towards boys is a myth of the nastiest kind and has no actual factual basis. In fact, Psychology Today published an article on September 15, 2008 which states, “In reality, abuse of boys by gay pedophiles is rare, and the abuse of girls by lesbians is rarer still.” Maybe the troops who ousted gay leaders need to read that article.
I have come to the conclusion that the Boy Scouts of America is not a bad organization as a whole. Quite possibly the troops in the area where I live are more progressive and are trying to be realistic in their allowing gay people to lead the boys in the troops. I suppose they believe that if we can lead our young men at home, we can lead them in a troop. I applaud the Boy Scout troops in our area, and also the one in New Hampshire that M attends. They are people who know that sexual orientation does not affect the content of your character.
And if we need any more proof of how a same-gender-led household can raise an Eagle Scout, we only have to look at Zach Wahls: