I will do my best to be
Honest and Fair,
Friendly and Helpful,
Considerate and Caring,
Courageous and Strong…
These are the opening phrases of the Girl Scout Law. And over the last few months, we’ve heard them used in a few different contexts.
We watched as the Girl Scouts of Colorado did their best to live to the letter of this law by allowing Bobby Montoya, a transgender girl, to join the Girl Scouts of Denver, Colo. We saw them slightly twisted when several troops in Louisiana, in protest of that decision, decided to disband, their leaders resigning. And we saw them stretched to their limit—and possibly their breaking point—when the video of a young California girl calling for a ban on Girl Scout cookies in protest of the decision popped up and went viral.
In the face of all of this—ignorance and resignation threats from troop leaders across the country—the Girls Scouts of Denver held firm in their decision. PFLAG National applauds and supports them.
Tragically, exclusion, discrimination, and rejection are common experiences for many transgender and gender non-conforming young people. In fact, in the 2009 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, "Injustice at Every Turn," 57 percent of transgender respondents said that they experienced significant rejection when coming out as transgender to immediate family, including parents, guardians, and siblings. In school, 31 percent of these same respondents reported harassment by teachers or staff in K-12 settings.
Ultimately, it is family acceptance that offers the best protection against the many threats to the health and well-being of our children. And if it is a Girl Scout’s duty to “make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout,” then why should Bobby Montoya lose out on this important aspect of acceptance?
We commend the Girl Scouts of Colorado for offering support to Bobby Montoya and her family, and providing education to the other families and volunteers in the greater Denver Girl Scouts community.
And, for what it’s worth? We’ll be eating a lot of Thin Mints and Samoas here at the PFLAG National offices this year.