SECAUCUS, N.J. — The family of an 8-year-old boy says he was kicked out of boy scouts because he is transgender.
Born a female, Joe–formerly Jody–identifies as a boy.
His mom, Kristie Maldonado, says she made it very clear that he is transgender when she signed him for cub scouts in Secaucus, New Jersey.
But after about a month, she said she got a call from the Boy Scouts’ head counsel, saying he could no longer be part of the organization.
“I felt bad for my son, he was having a good time,” Kristie told WCBS in New York. “They had a barbecue, the last day they had a Halloween party, they did experiments. He really enjoyed it and he was with all of his friends.”
Effie Delimarkos, Director of Communications for the Boy Scouts of America, told Eye Opener in statement that the child “did not meet the eligibility requirements.”
“Recently, a family started the process of registering their child for Cub Scouting. During this process, it was brought to our attention that their child does not meet the eligibility requirements to participate in this program, so Boy Scouts of America (BSA) leadership reached out to the family to inform them and share information on alternative programs,” the statement read. “For instance, the BSA also offers co-ed programs through Learning for Life, STEM Scouts (in markets where available) and Venturing, a program for young men and women ages 14-20.”
“The BSA grants youth membership to Cub Scouts to boys in the first through fifth grades, or 7 to 10 years of age. If needed, we defer to the information provided for an individual’s birth certificate and their biological sex.”
The statement did go on to read that “scouting teaches its youth members and adult leaders to be respectful of other people and individual beliefs.”
Delimarkos told WCBS, “No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” however added that “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”
The Boy Scouts of America endured years of controversy before ultimately lifting bans on gay scouts and leaders in recent years.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America, which is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, has accepted transgender children for years.