Instant Guide

Should the Girl Scouts accept transgendered kids?

A 7-year-old boy who identifies as a girl is shunned by a local troop leader before the larger organization insists that the boy is welcome

A Colorado boy is making headlines after he tried to join his local Girl Scout troop. Bobby Montoya, 7, identifies as a girl, but he was told by a local troop leader that he couldn't be a part of the group because of his "boy parts." After his story made the local news, the Girl Scouts said Bobby was actually welcome. Here, a brief guide:

Why does Bobby want to be a Girl Scout?
Bobby looks, acts, and dresses as if he were a girl. "He's been doing this since he was about 2 years old," says his mother, Felisha Archuleta. "He's loved girl stuff, so we just let him dress how he wants." Bobby's sister is a Girl Scout, so he wanted to join, too.

What happened when he tried to join?
Archuleta says the local troop told her over the phone that Bobby was welcome, but when he arrived at the meeting, the troop leader "flipped out" and said, "It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts." The troop leader "was so rude and made him cry," Bobby's mother recalls. "He was devastated by what she said."

But the Girl Scouts eventually welcomed Bobby, right?
Following a local news report on Bobby's ordeal, the Girl Scouts of Colorado issued a statement saying that the scout leader hadn't been aware of or acted in accordance with their policies. "If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout," the statement read. "Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families, and the volunteers who serve them."

So is Bobby a Girl Scout now?
No. After their terrible experience, Bobby's grandmother, Rose Archuleta says, "My daughter is never going to take him back to join that Girl Scout troop." While Bobby could join another troop, Rose says that the group in question is the only one close to where they live, and that Bobby's mother is already quite busy shuttling her three children to and from their various activities.

Were others satisfied by the the Girl Scouts' explanation?
Mostly, yes. "Gender-variant kids have it hard enough," says Jeanne Sager at The Stir. "Any organization that wants to make these kids feel more at ease and more like the other kids is good in my book." Yeah, "RIGHT ON," says Monica Bielanko at Babble. Maybe it's time we just do away with the Girl Scout/Boy Scout distinction, says Instinct. "It should just be Scouts."

Sources: Babble, Daily Mail, Instinct, The Stir

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