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William Dameron

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A Gay Father's Response to the Boy Scouts of America: You Haven't Gone Far Enough

Posted: 07/18/2012 5:39 pm

My husband Paul and I conducted an informal survey of our five children the other day and found some shocking results. They are all straight. We were a little upset because we never had the opportunity to discuss sexual orientation with them before they came to this conclusion.

I have it on good authority from The Boy Scouts of America that the discussion of same-sex orientation should happen in the family, perhaps with some spiritual advisers gathered round in the right setting at the right time. I'm not sure that religious figures sitting at our dinner table discussing same sex attraction with my children is a good idea, but far be it from me to question the moral values of the BSA. They have more than 100 years of shaping young boys minds under their belt and a record as squeaky clean as the Catholic Church.

But clearly, someone had breached the subject of opposite-sex attraction with my children. Otherwise, why on earth would the offspring of two gay fathers find this behavior normal?

This is why as a gay man, I support the Boy Scouts of America's right to deny gay boys entrance as scouts and gay men as leaders. But I don't think their discrimination goes far enough. As a gay father, I have the right to speak to my children about opposite-sex attraction before they ever hear anything about it out there in the big scary world. If we are going to be completely fair here, I think that heterosexual men and boys should be denied entrance to the Boy Scouts as well.

Back in the 1970s when I was an asexual teenage boy waiting for the parish priest to explain my options, I became a Boy Scout. There were just a few gay people in the world then, maybe 15 or 20, so all of the talk among the boys was about girls. I still remember the unofficial oath, "On my honor, I will do my best to help the Girl Scouts get undressed." This is the type of thing we need to curtail. It's time for us as parents to prevent our children from talking about sex, both same-sex and opposite-sex attraction, until we know they are damn well ready to understand it.

Now, the Girl Scouts of the USA have decided to embrace full equality and I say good for them. We all know that girls never talk about sex and if they do, it's only because they need to give their pony a boy name or a girl name. I'm pretty sure the Girl Scouts are not creating a crop of campfire-singing, s'mores-loving lesbians, thank goodness. What we really need to worry about is a bunch of independent and confident women thinking they have control over their bodies. But that is the subject for another post.

When I asked my children who on earth had told them they were straight, they sheepishly examined their feet as if the answer was written between their toes. Then the youngest spoke up and said, "Dad, I have sort of always known I was straight."

Kids -- they think they know everything.

William Dameron's personal blog is The Authentic Life

 

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