Boy Scouts Boot 8-Year-Old Transgender Boy Out of Scout Pack After a Month

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A little boy from New Jersey was a member of Cub Scout Pack 87 for a month and loved it. He said all his favorite friends were fellow scouts, and he felt accepted there and not excluded at all. But then, after he’d been a scout for about a month, he was asked to leave because some of the other scouts’ parents complained about there being a transgender boy in the pack.

According to CBS, 8-year-old Joe Maldonado was assumed to be female at birth, but he’s a trans boy who has been living full-time as a boy for over a year. He has the support of his family, and his friends in the scouts all knew him when he was still assumed to be a little girl, and he says he never felt like they didn’t want him there.

“Not one of the kids said, ‘you don’t belong here,’” Joe said.

Joe’s mother says the scouts and the pack leaders knew Joe was trans before he even joined. Joe was a member of the scout pack for a month before his mother says some parents complained, and he was told to leave on the grounds that the sex listed on his birth certificate is female. The Boy Scouts aren’t exactly known for being progressive. They banned gay scouts until 2013 and gay scout leaders until last year, and they’re still banning trans kids.

“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” the organization said to CBS News. “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”

That’s certainly true. On some level I’m kind of surprised and impressed that they even know that gender identity is not the same thing as sexual orientation. Banning trans boys for being trans is still pretty crummy, though.

“It made me mad,” Joe said. “I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”

The Boy Scouts of America appears to disagree. The organization told CBS News that its “programs are for those who are identified as boys on their birth certificates.” They told Joe and his mom that Joe could participate in some of the Boy Scouts’ co-ed programs, but obviously Joe and his mother aren’t mollified by effectively being told, “We don’t respect your gender identity, but you can come hang out with us for co-ed events.” Joe’s mother says she’s looking for an apology, but one suspects an apology will not be forthcoming for some time.