Bobby Montoya often dresses like a girl, plays with girl's toys, and most recently, wants to become a Girl Scout.
But when her mother, Felisha Archuleta, brought her to a local troop leader, the child's dreams were dashed. According to 9 News, the Girl Scouts worker said the child could not join, regardless of how the 7-year-old feels, because Bobby had "boy parts."
"I said, 'Well, what's the big deal?' She said 'It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don't allow that [and] I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor,'" Archuleta told 9 News.
Bobby was heartbroken.
According to Fox News, the Girl Scouts Of Colorado have since admitted a mistake was made. Apparently the worker who turned Montoya away was unfamiliar with the group's policies, and Bobby is now welcome to join the group. It's unclear as to whether or not she has decided to join in light of the reversal.
Requests for transgender children to join the Girl Scouts have grown according to Fox News, and the group has been working to support them and their families.
However, Bobby's struggles go beyond the Girl Scouts experience. In an interview with 9 News (which you can see below) Montoya says how difficult it can be, especially in school. Often Montoya feels bullied or gets teased because of the way she dresses and acts. Bobby doesn't want these actions to cause change, but admits being made fun of can hurt, and even her mother feels the pain.
Bullying due to sexual orientation or gender identity has long been an issue, most recently in the wake of the suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer last month. While Rodemeyer's case is certainly different from Montoya's both situations have shed light on the struggles of LGBT youth. You can find out more information about the effects of bullying because of sexual orientation and gender identity here, from here, from Mental Health America, or from The Trevor Project.
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