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An Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

Melicious Kiss of PHAET 2013/01/30 15:31:46

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

As you consider revising your policies to allow openly gay men and boys to be part of your organization, I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts.

I was a part of the Boy Scout organization for seven years. I have many fond memories of it. I did much good with my peers for the community, for each other, and for myself.

I learned a lot during those seven years, as well. I learned how to manage finances, rescue drowning people, support others in their goals, and so many other useful skills that I carry with me to this day.

I also learned how to hate myself. You see, I’ve been attracted to my own sex since I was eleven years old, which, coincidentally, was the year I started up in the Boy Scout program.

I remember how much emphasis was placed on what was considered normal family life and normal sexuality. Leaders talked about it from time to time. The other scouts laughed about it often. No one ever had any doubt that being anything other than straight was a quick ticket to being outcast. I wanted to disappear or cease to exist on more than one occasion.

I went to camp every summer with my friends. I went to meetings every week. I stood in the rain and the mud with those guys.

And here’s the thing.

I never wanted to have sex with any of them. I never wanted to experiment sexually with any of them. I never wanted to do anything sexual at all, ever, with any of them.

I just wanted to be accepted and feel like I wasn’t worthless. I was a preteen. Nothing else mattered.

Yet so much emphasis was placed on making sure I was never different than the norm that I never had the opportunity to feel accepted and valuable. Ever. And for that reason, I am writing this letter to ask you to reconsider your policy that forbids openly gay men or Scouts into your program.

Here’s some things I know.

First, gays don’t try and convert anyone to be gay. It’s time to let go of that belief.

Second, gay men aren’t sexual perverts or predators. Men who are perverts and predators are perverts and predators. And I agree, they should not be allowed to be leaders in the program, gay or straight. It’s time to let go of such a hurtful belief. Believe it or not, most of us who are something other than straight would have no problem joining our straight brothers and beating the living crap out of anyone who sexually harms one of our kids.

Third, your organization is called the Boy Scouts of America. Not the Straight Boy Scouts of America. Not the Religious Boy Scouts of America. Not the Elite Boy Scouts of America. It’s simply the Boy Scouts of America. And I promise you that any young man who is struggling with his sexual identity needs love and acceptance, not an environment that makes him feel like a sexual deviant or bad person.

Fourth, gay people don’t have an agenda. If they’re volunteering as leaders in your program, they aren’t going to spend their time and effort teaching their groups to love and accept gays or to fight for gay rights. Hopefully they teach their groups to love and accept people, and to fight for human rights, no matter who they’re fighting for. Hopefully straight leaders are teaching their groups that as well. Someday, you never know, those Scouts may be fighting for you.

Finally, I know how valuable this program can be to the young men of this world. We need solid programs to help our boys turn into good men, skilled men, and men who contribute to society.

I have a son. He’s almost six. I would love to watch him in the Boy Scouts program. I’d love to volunteer as one of his leaders. I’d love to camp, and canoe, and hike, and experience nature with him. I’d love to help him come up with a project that will benefit his community, and watch him make great things happen. I’d love to watch him earn the rank of Eagle Scout one day.

Right now, I cannot do that. I cannot condone your club. I cannot ask him to participate in an association that tells him everyone else’s dad is okay, yours is a pervert and is not welcome here. I can’t ask him to attend meetings with people who will constantly watch and scrutinize to make sure that he is not “pushing his dad’s agenda.” I can’t ask him to be a part of an organization that teaches him to reject others, denounce others, exclude others, and feel superior to others.

I just can’t do it.

So please. Begin to believe in the goodness of others.

Judge a man by his deeds, and by his actions. Judge him on his merits. Accept men to be volunteers in your program because they are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Don’t reject men because they happen to be attracted to other men.

And don’t ever reject boys for the same thing. Our children deserve better than that.

Yours in kind,

http://www.danoah.com/2013/01/open-letter-boy-scouts-of-ameri...

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Top Opinion

  • sockpuppet 2013/01/30 16:00:18
    sockpuppet
    +16
    THIS is the way to effect changes... not by getting in peoples' faces, forbidding them to operate a business in your city or bullying them with "phobic" tags.

    I used to be apathetic (at best) about gay rights, fed up to the teeth with the tiresome political sniping. A few honest, non-accusatory discussions with other SodaHeads turned on the light for me: there are actual people behind this.

    There will always be details and doubts to deal with, but if people can't empathize with you, there's no way forward at all.

    Life is too short for this-- it's not a zero-sum game, where one group's gain is the other's loss. Won't affect us in the least. We're screwing up their lives as a matter of policy.

    Good article. Hope it turns on a few lights, here.

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  • Brosia 2013/04/25 00:20:51
    Brosia
    +1
    This needs to be read by everyone on that council that are deciding whether or not to continue to teach and spread hate and ignorance. This was thoughtful and smart and true. I hope it changes someone's mind that can do something about it.
  • joefj2 2013/04/02 00:01:06
    joefj2
    Create your own boys club and stop trying to take what those that are not like you have. Get over your self, except that you are not excepted and live your own life. Stop forcing your beliefs on others.
  • Melicio... joefj2 2013/04/02 00:04:53
    Melicious Kiss of PHAET
    Except that you are not excepted? Huh? Oh, I think you meant, "Accept that you are not accepted." When you learn the English language, come back and we will talk.

    Toodles.
  • joefj2 Melicio... 2013/04/02 14:55:21
    joefj2
    Now see, you can easily detect the simple rules of grammar in the sentence I typed, so you should also understand the simple rule of the qualities or characteristics considered as normal human behavior.
  • Melicio... joefj2 2013/04/02 14:58:09
  • joefj2 Melicio... 2013/04/02 18:00:26
    joefj2
    Scout Oath

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Scout Law

    A Scout is:
    Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
    Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
    Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
    Brave, Clean, Reverent

    The above creed of the boy scouts equal what is considered normal behavior, not a dryer cycle.This is another reason why you should not be allowed into the boy scouts. Notice wording like, duty to God, morally Straight, reverent.
  • Melicio... joefj2 2013/04/02 19:13:32
    Melicious Kiss of PHAET
    +1
    A Scout is:
    Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
    Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
    Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
    Brave, Clean, Reverent


    Gay boys can be all those things and more.
  • joefj2 Melicio... 2013/04/03 03:43:36
    joefj2
    +1
    duty to God, morally Straight,
  • ~head~first~fearless~ 2013/04/01 23:33:49
    ~head~first~fearless~
    +1
    This is a really great letter. You need to make sure someone at the Boy Scouts sees this, it's so important that they hear things like this. I'll definitely be spreading this letter and link to everywhere I can. Well done!
  • Dwight 2013/04/01 01:20:17
    Dwight
    I applaud you for being honest, and feel badly you had such a miserable time as a lad. There are many things we go through in our formitive years that many, maybe most are never comfortable discussing with others, wheither friends or family.

    For all of that, you are asking a private organization to change their values to reflect your own desires. And that will hurt others and widen the gap you seek to close.
  • Monica 2013/04/01 00:37:14
    Monica
    okk
  • The Electrician 2013/03/31 14:28:43
    The Electrician
    +1
    Not all Priest molest boys either, but it is a common "hunting ground" for that behavior and the "abused become the abusers."
  • crewzer1 2013/03/31 12:54:16
    crewzer1
    The misconceptions are biggot as biggots only frame of mind can find flaw and fault in anything other than what little life they have experienced. Biggot Ideology is only a group of sheep who cannot think for themselves, but live by what others are doing and / or saying. You have to understand Biggots are persons who fear themselves, who fear the uncertenties of life, are people who fear rejection so much that they would sell out their own mother. Its not an issue for boys to be boys, its an issue in the formula for control over the fears of change to ones tranparent social Identities. We're all the same down deep, in the core of the heart and with out heart and the compassion to use its power to evolve. One is only left behind with the fallen= The Biggot...
  • lowcountry70 2013/03/31 12:06:36
    lowcountry70
    +3
    Love the letter. My boys were 3rd generation scouts. I removed them until every boy can enjoy the wonders, joys, and benefits of scouting.
  • ♣Tanor Zeta Fa'ux♣ 2013/03/31 09:33:02
    ♣Tanor Zeta Fa'ux♣
    +2
    I used to be a boy scout myself, since I was in the 6th grade. So this pretty much relates to me. As I'm a Bi, and always have been. Back then I probably didn't know it as I was a kid with no knowledge about these kind of things till ya look back in your memories and make sudden epiphanies with the knowledge you have now. It always shocks you sometimes.

    This is a great letter and hopes it wakes them up and sees to it they can allow those of all types to join and be able to participate.
  • OzSurfer 2013/03/31 09:04:02
    OzSurfer
    +3
    Wow such a great letter!

    I remember my last two years of high school, due to bullying problems, I decided to change to an all girls school that just decided it was going co-ed. I was the first and only male in the class. Some parents were horrified as they thought that I'd just want to have sex with the other girls however while I had a girl friend in the class, I wasn't any sort of predator. It was no different to any other co-ed environment except that I was the only male. Similarly, I can see how a gay person in a mostly straight male environment is just as happy to be part of the team and there's no reason to expect that they'll act any differently to me. As the author said you're either a predator or your not, sexual orientation has nothing to do with it.
  • GoDucks5 2013/03/31 08:44:34 (edited)
    GoDucks5
    +2
    I agree with you but they are a private organization and they can discriminate. I used to be a Boy Scout though and I would have been honored to welcome a gay Scout to the troop.
  • Spudnut 2013/03/12 13:57:00
    Spudnut
    That letter ought to shut some people up.
  • THE BEACH 2013/02/07 03:42:29
    THE BEACH
    +3
    This letter was very well put and needs to be expressed on You Tube,Facebook and every other mass media possible.
  • Spyro 2013/02/05 18:06:55
    Spyro
    +5
    Very caring post, thank you for creating it!
  • No One 2013/02/05 00:56:24
    No One
    +5
    I love your post. I am an Atheist and so when I was in scouts I also felt like I was being alienated by the saying that we are to honor god when I don't believe in god.
  • Kashee 2013/02/04 19:44:50
    Kashee
    +6
    Once I stop crying, I will try to respond to this. My heart bleeds for you and all gay people who have these experiences, including my own gay son. He too was a cub scout. He too left when he became a boy scout.
    Everything you say is true.
    It sound like you, just like my son, went on to become an amazing, tolerant, giving, kind man.
    Personally, I think your parents should be very very proud of the Man they raised. And I would be proud to call you friend.
  • Sheila 2013/02/04 19:16:58
    Sheila
    +2
    The letter is nice. I am glad my son is too old for it to be an issue when I would be forced to say sorry son, no scouting for you. There is nothing wrong with a gay free group. Seems that now it will be up to the churches to provide the place and people for THAT group. Go ahead, call me names, I am fine with it as I am very secure in myself...lol...
  • Melicio... Sheila 2013/02/04 19:30:16
    Melicious Kiss of PHAET
    +1
    You do understand that BSoA is asking what people think and have not made a decision?

    Also, can I ask what you are afraid of? It's not catching.
  • Sheila Melicio... 2013/02/04 20:10:11
    Sheila
    +1
    Of course it is not catching, but I dont believe that is something the kids need a ton of exposure to. Frankly I dont trust that there will be no "activism" involved.

    I also honestly believe they have already made up their minds and are doing this to say "the numbers back our position" whatever the position they have chosen is.
  • Link 2013/02/04 19:08:22
    Link
    +4
    This letter, the sentiments expressed, herein, need to be shouted out, need to be publicized, published, spread around...
  • Melicio... Link 2013/02/04 19:13:29
    Melicious Kiss of PHAET
    +2
    Agreed.
  • Link 2013/02/04 19:01:36
    Link
    +3
    Very awesome letter... well-written!
  • JDLogan 2013/02/02 00:48:14
    JDLogan
    +4
    I just wish people would quit using their children as political pawns. "They must stay away from my children" has always been the rallying cry of the small-minded.
  • Kidasha 2013/02/01 15:01:36
    Kidasha
    +5
    Well said!
  • CAPISCE 2013/02/01 13:24:18
    CAPISCE
    +5
    Cry me a river
  • Gregaj7 2013/02/01 06:53:14
    Gregaj7
    +2
    Self-moderated.
  • LawMan5150 2013/02/01 06:50:24
    LawMan5150
    +4
    Why would you stay in the private club if it brought so much pain. There is a lot of other ways to pass the time.
  • Melicio... LawMan5150 2013/02/01 18:04:28
    Melicious Kiss of PHAET
    +6
    Because children often do what is expected of them.
  • LawMan5150 Melicio... 2013/02/01 22:52:04
    LawMan5150
    +1
    Then the problem was with the parents not the organization. If the parents didn't accept the kid, then he has much greater issues.
  • polkastria 2013/02/01 06:43:14
    polkastria
    +8
    Wonderful letter. I doubt it will do any good but I think it was a great try and you never know what will open up a person's mind and heart.
  • joseph digristina 2013/02/01 04:57:48
  • THE BEACH joseph ... 2013/02/07 03:37:08
    THE BEACH
    +2
    Joseph,your grandfather was a very wise man.
  • joseph ... THE BEACH 2013/02/07 04:59:25
  • THE BEACH joseph ... 2013/02/08 01:08:34 (edited)
    THE BEACH
    +2
    Well,after brownies(rather of been in the cub scouts)We did no camping or bonfires,lol.When it came time for Girl Scouts I did not want join because I was going to have to make this speech on this big outdoor stage in front of a bunch of people.That took care of that.I bet I would not have gone camping ,etc either.Just sell cookies and car washes,lol.Joined the all boys basketball team instead at 10(boys mortified when they saw I was a girl) and a few other sports after that.
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