Protect Transgender Rights in the Girl Scouts of America

When I was seven years old, I was excited to join a Brownie troop. Whatever experiences I had in those first few years of Girl Scouts stuck with me — I’m now in my 20s and still a scout. I pay my yearly dues, spent three summers counseling at a Girl Scout camp and I chow down frozen Samoas by the box.

The Girl Scouts of America are, in part, responsible for who I am today — I learned about community service and civic engagement, and I fostered an independent spirit. I learned to appreciate other women for the strength they possess, for the roles they play and the rules they break everyday. I learned about leadership and sisterhood.

I cannot for the life of me think of a reason why anyone who shares my experiences would want to deny the opportunities provided by the Girl Scouts to any child. And yet, a group of my scouting sisters — made up of current and former scouts and troop leaders who call themselves the Honest Girl Scouts — recently posted a video to voice their disapproval over the Girl Scouts of America allowing a 7-year-old transgender girl to join a troop.

The video boasts a teenage girl, decked out in scouting attire, giving a longwinded speech about how “inappropriate” it is to let “boys” infiltrate the safety of an “all-girl environment.” She consistently denies the child’s identity and sincere desire to be part of the GSUSA. To top it off, she urges America to boycott the purchase of Girl Scout cookies until the organization starts singing along with her brainwashed, bigoted tune.

A child is a child. A 7-year-old is not a threat to anyone, transgender or not, and every child deserves the right to take part in a positive, self-affirming experience like scouting. I for one will be pulling out my checkbook and buying twice as many Samoas to thank the Girl Scouts of America for being open-minded sisters to every Girl Scout.

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