(picture of me and my fantastic Scoutmasters of Troop 101)
I am an Eagle Scout and I have many friends who are gay. There was even a gay scout in my troop. I remember finding out about this one particular individual because I was attempting to reconnect with past Eagle Scouts from my troop. I was curious to see what they were up to. His Mypace page back in 2006 or so was all glittery-stars in the background and there were pictures of him with his boyfriend. I was not surprised to learn this about my old Scouting partner. In fact, I was really proud of him for just being himself. He was in his 20s and no longer had to hide behind a facade. Once he left high school and Scouts he could finally be honest with himself. I dare say, that he should not have been forced to wait so long.
Since then, I have come to learn that there were even more gay scouts in my troop. I can’t imagine it would have been easy being surrounded by all these teenage boys - who are young, obnoxious and for many homophobic and unrelenting. Scouts across the country should be thrilled that the national organization is FINALLY doing something forward thinking. I know that this reinvigorates my support. There are thousands if not tens of thousands ( or more no doubt) gay scouts who deserve proper recognition and reconciliation.
Should Scouting wish to remain a relevant developmental tool for millions of young men around the country for years to come, it will have to evolve. And to this end, I salute the Scouts for doing the right thing. We can not right the wrongs of the past, but we can move together towards a better and brighter future.