I’m not sure how many of you head about the semi-recent (a month ago is semi-recent…I haven’t had the time/energy to write about this yet, sue me!!) situation with the Girl Scouts of Colorado, but here it is in a nutshell: a boy in Denver, who dresses & behaves like a girl, but is still referred to as “he” by his family/school/etc tried to join the Girl Scouts. The volunteer the family spoke to didn’t handle the situation very well, and when the story first broke, GS of Colorado issued this statement in response:
“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. 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. 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. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we’re better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers.”
Obviously, this made a ton of people on both sides of the transgender issue upset. Bobby, however, is not a Girl Scout. A few days after the above story was posted to the Girl Scout listserve I follow, there was a follow up about some posts made to the council’s facebook page:
We understand that some families are concerned that boys will be joining their daughters’ Girl Scout troops or that their daughters may be placed in uncomfortable situations. We are a girl-serving organization, and we do not grant membership to boys. We grant membership to a transgender child when she and her family have made the decision that she should live her life as a girl. These situations are rare, and when they occur, GSCO is committed to working with all girls and families to ensure that Girl Scouting provides a safe, nurturing environment, and that the sensibilities of all are respected. GSCO works on a case by case basis to resolve issues and make sure that every girl finds a safe place in Girl Scouts.
Yesterday at 12:36pm ·
Girl Scouts of Colorado Just to be clear, our position remains the same as it was before the media became involved. If a child lives life as a girl and her family brings her to Girl Scouts and says, “My daughter wants to be a Girl Scout,” we welcome her.
Thursday at 12:43pm
Girl Scouts of Colorado
Just to clarify, Bobby is not a member of Girl Scouts of Colorado. As the mother presented Bobby as her son who likes girl things, he does not meet our membership criteria. If they decide as a family for Bobby to live her life as a girl, we… would welcome her. We are standing by the same approach as we had before the media became involved. It does not appear that this mother is truly interested in Girl Scout membership for her child.
Yesterday at 2:26pm
I’ll be completely honest; I’m okay with the result of this. I AM happy that GSCO has taken the stand that Girl Scouts really is for ALL girls. I also accept their stance that Bobby is currently not living life as a girl, so should not be a member of the Girl Scouts. I can understand the concern of parents about allowing a biologically male child into their daughter’s troop. At 6 or 7, there’s not much trouble that can happen, but as they get to the teen years, the issues are abundant, and have the potential to get worse. Plus, there are many things that bio-females experience that a transgendered woman never will (and the opposite is true as well). I feel there is still a long way to go societally before this could truly be successful, and have to admit that I’d be hesitant to be the guinea pig troop leader, although I’d probably do it because SOMEBODY has to step up and how many would be willing to?
I wish Bobby the best as s/he navigates life, and really hope the family finds the right extra-curricular activity fit for them.