Boy Scouts Announce New Policy To Allow Transgender Boys

Jan 31, 2017

On Monday, January 30, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that they would now accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the Gender identity indicated on the application, not their birth certificate.

“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.” – Boy Scouts of America Press Release

This decision is important for a few reasons. This decision allows more children to live authentically and participate in activities that they’re interested in. This also highlights a greater understanding of gender identity. This decision will hopefully help facilitate thoughtful and productive conversation about gender identity.

There are a number of questions that still need to be resolved. How will BSA provide training to leaders and scouts? What happens if local troops do not provide an inclusive environment for new scouts? We hope that these issues are resolved and communicated transparently as part of the roll-out of this change.

For news coverage on this decision, read articles from AP, New York Times, or Washington Post.

If you would like to learn more about gender, we suggest you watch our Gender Basics Video.

If you’ve had a positive or negative experience with the Scouting community and want to share your story, you can do so in the Gender Spectrum Lounge.

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