Family / Family-building / Kids / Parenting

The Boy Scouts: Honor, Credo, or Oxymoron

Cacém When our elder son was in first grade, we received a notice that the Cub Scouts would be recruiting new, first time members. That’s right. The Boys Scouts of America flagrantly recruits hairless, prepubescent males into their uniform-wearing, male-bonding, rubbing-two-sticks-together-in-the-woods lifestyle.

©CBS Television

©CBS Television

This is the point at which my dreamy husband and I found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. You see, as fine, upstanding gay citizens whose email inbox is littered with words like “pride,” “rainbow,” “equality,” “walkathon,” “Barney Frank,” “gender variant,” and “ice dancing,” we had a fairly fine line to tiptoe. On the one hand, we were rabidly anti-scouting (but probably not nearly so anti-scouting as the Scouts were anti-us), and our impulse was to forbid him from signing on to their homophobic agenda. On the other hand, we didn’t want to saddle our beloved son with yet one more issue to tackle in his future therapy sessions. “I wanted to be a Cub Scout more than anything in the whole world, but my fucking parents wouldn’t fucking let me because they’re fucking gaaaaay.”

Granted this was a few years back, when the official Boy Scouts policy forbade any people of non-biblically-sanctioned sexuality from coming within 50 yards of any Scout facility, any Scout event, or any Scout, regardless of age or corporate affiliation. No homos in scouting. No kids. No Den Mothers. No Scout Masters (which, let’s face it, must to be the name of a gay porn film. Probably with sequels – Scout Masters On Top. Scout Masters of Fire Island. Scout Masters Uncut.)

But since that time, the organization has seen fit to, um, widen their stance somewhat to permit males under 18 to join – but then to disconnect precisely at the stroke of midnight on their 18th birthday, which is probably the stupidest, most wrong-headed idea anyone has ever had. Think about it. How many teenagers do you know who are making well-thought-out, rational choices in life? How many 16-year-olds exhibit excellent impulse control and sound decision-making skills? Or is it more likely that they’re all sexting or fellexting or cunnilexting or whatever it is these damned kids are doing? And these are the people whom the Scouts consider “safe,” as opposed to actual grownups who don’t feel the need to carry their books in front of them all damn day long? (That school bus always had the most remarkable effect on me…) Clearly, the Ministry of Scouting or whatever the hell it’s called is full of morons.

And I know what I’m talking about. I was a Cub Scout myself. (You! In the corner there, sniggering. Cut that out!) Of course I was mostly in it for the neckerchief. Really bold couture choice for the ‘60s, if you ask me. (Back when I was a cub, the girls got to sell those scrumptious cookies to raise money, while we boys had to sell…light bulbs. No, really. Light fucking bulbs. The whole neighborhood darkened their homes en masse and huddled silently in their bathrooms when they saw me approaching their front walk.)

Anyway, long story short (I know. Too late.), after a grueling period of agonizing deliberation, John and I decided to offer our son the opportunity to be a Scout. And after asking, “Hey, would you like to join the Cub Scouts?” his first, and last, question was, “When does it end?” That’s my boy. The kid’s a frickin’ genius.

THIS JUST IN: Since writing this post, I’ve come across some late breaking news as of July 13: “The Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee has unanimously approved a resolution ending the organization’s ban on gay adults.” Clearly, this essay was so wildly persuasive, the BSA relented even before it was published. Now that’s writin’.

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One Comment

  1. Ermagerd! YOU ended the ban! You are magic, in addition ot everything else!!

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