A Letter of Importance

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

I bet you think you’ve made some progress this week; that’s cute. Your wording, that you are now “letting gay scouts in”, is a little confusing for me. I would like to take a moment to point out to you that you weren’t officially keeping them out before; you were just forcing them to keep their sexuality a secret. This may shock you but… YOU ALREADY HAVE GAY SCOUTS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION (::cue gasps::).

I will say, I’m impressed that you seem to have found a way to piss off everyone on either side of the argument though. It’s a feat in itself to accomplish a coming together of all people in a new common hatred– you! Let me first define these two sides in shorter terms so I may refer to them more briefly as I go on. The side that is against gays as a community and who rallies against their rights I shall call “The Delusional Union of Myopic Bigots” or the DUMB side. Next I will call the group of people forced to fight for common decency and rights for gays “The Collection Of Rabble Rousers Eager for Civil Treatment” or the CORRECT side.

So would you like an award or plaque applauding your ability to catch up with the CORRECT side? I can have that made for you, but you are the guys in the race who pass out just before the finish line. I’m sure it was an oversight but you forgot to include the acceptance of gay scout leaders. An oopsie I’m sure. It’s like your friend’s partner who you forgot was coming to dinner so you didn’t include them in your reservation. You don’t then get to make a big show of things when you ask for an extra seat (like you’re a hero now and your original mistake should be forgotten). You didn’t want them at dinner; you liked things better when it was just you and your friend. Tough noogies; they are here and accepting them or not isn’t up to you, it’s your friend’s relationship. Am I using too much analogy? I’ll be more direct.

It isn’t up to you to accept or reject gays in your organization. Sure, the club is yours and you can technically make the rules but let’s not take that past the point of reason. You could also make a rule that everyone has to wear balloon animal hats, but it’s an abuse of power and it makes no sense. Actually, strike that, I like that rule better than anything pertaining to gays because that isn’t an attack on anyone. BALLOON ANIMAL HATS ALL AROUND!

I don’t want to totally deflate you, I know you thought that this was progress and you even went home and celebrated your newfound tolerance with a frozen yogurt. You were so close and yet, so far. The fact that you felt that accepting one age group of gays and not another was a positive is actually more offensive than when you didn’t want to associate with any of them. All you have done is proven that you don’t tolerate homosexuality at all. Society gave you such a hard time. Were we mean to you? You poor things, having to deal with all those yucky gays and their friends must have been awful. You hoped that giving us one little snippet of what we were yelling about would get us to go away. You still don’t even understand all of it, do you?

Your argument explaining why gays cannot be scout leaders is that apparently they are pedophiles and if you put them alone on a camping trip with young boys they would sexually abuse them. Let me see if I understand this– because they are boys who like boys, anytime they are with boys they will try to have sex with them? I guess the saddest news of all is that now all you straight men can’t coach little Janie’s girls soccer team because men just don’t know how to control themselves around a person of their sexual preference, no matter the age.

I have a solution to this dilemma, let lesbians be scout leaders and gay men can coach women’s sports… wait… no? Oh right, the problem isn’t about sexual preference at all. You are discriminating based on who people are to their core and that garbage about pedophilia was just a flimsy excuse to put off the CORRECT side.

I’m getting too riled up aren’t I? I apologize; it doesn’t solve anything to spew out hate towards the entire Boy Scouts of America Organization. To hate a group in its entirety because of their life choices is morally wrong.

I’ll give you a minute to reread and process that last sentence.

If I may wax serious for a moment here, I have some input from my own life. I was a girl scout for my entire childhood and into adolescence. Along with life skills we were taught about acceptance, sharing, community, understanding and any other nice word a thesaurus could spit out. My troop leader was a straight man and yet, despite his attraction to females in his private life, he was capable of just leading.

No, that doesn’t give him enough credit; he was incredible as a leader. He was a father and a guide who taught me to love myself and others. He bandaged wounds, taught lessons and devoted himself to our growth and at no point was it about anything else. To even have to point out that there was no sexual component to the relationship makes me ill. This was just an extraordinary man who loved children and wanted to be a part of shaping the women we became. He is one of my all time favorite people who still to this day attends my plays, comedy shows and events. I am all grown up and even now, his being straight and my being a woman has never crossed our minds.

The thing is, I think people are inherently good. The motivation for becoming part of an organization that defines itself as “Building tomorrow’s leaders” is usually rooted in a desire to help with those ideals not hurt them. Recently you were in the news because you volunteered your time to help out after the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. I doubt anyone who took part in that, gay or straight chose to take part so they could troll for someone to sleep with amid the rubble. I think it is pretty safe to say they just wanted to do some good.

It is about more than learning to build a birdhouse or start a campfire; it is about becoming the best men they can be. As I said before, you aren’t letting gays in, they are there, contributing to and building your organization as they have been since its start. From an article in The Huffington Post I draw this wise statement, “One of the hallmarks of the Boy Scouts of America is character development and trustworthiness. How can you let a scout work for a decade on these values, but then tell him by virtue of becoming an adult, he doesn’t measure up anymore?”

If you don’t want them all, frankly you don’t deserve any of them and what they have to contribute.

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