Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dear Boy Scouts of America

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

Congratulations to your super-secret committee on deciding to confirm how homophobic your organization is.  Your "no gay folks allowed!" sign looks great with that fresh coat of paint.

Here's my problem.  Your organization is homophobic.  To me, your hateful bullshit and exclusive policy are so disgusting that your decision communicates "we're homophobic assholes and proud of it!"

But other people love the Boy Scouts of America.  There are adults who gained a lot from their experience with you.  There are adults who contribute a lot to your organization now.  There are kids who build friendships and confidence with you.  To them, the BSA is great!

If the BSA is great, and the BSA is homophobic, then homophobia might be great, too.  You wouldn't discriminate without reason.  You're keeping those gay people away with good cause, right?  There must be something wrong with them.  Being gay must be a bad thing.

Will kids become homophobic solely because of your super-secret committee's decision?  Probably not.  But you don't operate in a vacuum.  Homophobia's all around them, sometimes from shady sources, sometimes from trusted sources.  We live in a homophobic society, and it takes progressive activism from the people around us to teach us not to be homophobic jerks.  It takes critical self-examination to uproot homophobic ideas.  What you're doing is reinforcing that garbage and encouraging hostility.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.  For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Homophobia is responsible citizenship?  Rejecting gay people is a step to building a productive society?  Oh, you're not kicking them out of society, are you, just out of your organization.  No gay people here!  No gay leaders.  No gay scouts.  No lesbian den mothers.  If gay kids want to participate, they'd better deny who they are, repress themselves, remain closeted lest anyone find out.  Sure, that's how to build character and help youth.
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America.
I wonder what these "issues of same-sex orientation" are which need to be addressed.  Do you know what I think that the Boy Scouts need to teach kids about gay people?  That gay people exist.  That gay people are anywhere and everywhere, responsible citizens of our "conscientious, responsible, and productive society."

With love,
Frank Lee

With thanks to Pam's House Blend.


  1. This image is making the rounds on Facebook now:
    It makes my heart go *moosh*.

    1. Thanks for linking such a great photo! I'm really glad to see members of the BSA stepping up like this.