Girl Scouts Face Backlash for Accepting Transgender Child

While initially rejected from joining the Girl Scouts, Bobby Montoya– a 7-year-old transgender child from Colorado– was soon after welcomed by the organization. The Girl Scouts of Colorado stated that the original decision had been a mistake made by an employee “unfamiliar with the group’s policies.” The organization has released the following statement:

“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members,” the statement says. “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.”

GLBTQ supporters across the nation have celebrated the Girl Scouts’ newly affirmed inclusiveness with pledges to “buy as many cookies as possible.” However, not everyone is as overjoyed by the progressive decision.

Fourteen-year-old Girl Scout Taylor of Ventura, California posted a YouTube video lamenting the loss of an “all-girl” space and arguing for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. More widely, media coverage of this controversy has been mixed in its messaging. Even without taking an explicit position on this story, the majority of coverage has insisted on referring to Bobby Montoya as “he” and a “boy,” as you’ll see in the above clip. Ranging from demonstrations of complete unacceptance to insensitivity and ignorance, the media reaction to Bobby’s story reminds us how difficult life is for transgender people, even– or perhaps especially– for the young.

The American Psychological Association “tells parents and educators of young people who begin to express their gender identity “in a non-conforming way” to let them be who they are… It is not helpful to force the child to act in a more gender-conforming way.”

What do you think of Bobby’s story? What about how the media has covered it?

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