What Does It Mean Being An “Openly Gay” Boy Scout….

… Several people have approached and written to me wanting to know my opinion on the Boy Scout scandal. And yes, it is a scandal. Why haven’t I addressed here? Because I don’t know what to think. I, like most of you, are still plagued with tons of questions. I’m struggling to understand it all myself and the impact it will have on the scouting organization. Mostly, my concern is for my own boy scout and his well being. I’m honestly trying to determine how we’ll proceed from here. Now that the Boy Scouts have done this… this thing.

My son is involved in a wonderfully close knit troop associated with a local Catholic parish. All but one boy in the troop is Catholic. He’s Orthodox. Close enough. Many of the parents feel that this decision will not directly effect our troop. I disagree. Our district is huge and is made of troops from all sort of associations. To naively believe that our troop is safely enveloped in a Catholic bubble is dangerous. And I’ve expressed this to other troop parents. In less than three weeks the boys will be packing up and venturing to camp with hundreds of other troops – troops associated with parishes or organizations that see no problem with openly homosexual men and young boys influencing our children. Any protective bubble shrouding our troop will burst.

What I hear from other parents is “so what if the kid is gay?”. Yes. And so what? It’s not like there haven’t been boys struggling with same sex attraction involved in the Boy Scouts before. They were never excluded from the scouts in the past, similar to the old “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military, unless they behaved in a way contradictory to their oaths. Like, say, making suggestive advances to other scouts. But you know what? Any scout trying to hit on another was reprimanded and removed from the organization. You think the co-ed Venturing Scouts would put up with that crap? No. Absolutely not. Yet now we find ourselves in a conundrum. Scouts can be openly gay now.

Openly gay. What does that even mean?

Outside of our bedrooms, when is there ever an appropriate time to be openly sexual anything? Am I openly heterosexual? What does that look like, to be openly sexual? Are we supposed to introduce our sexual preferences like we introduce our names? When we have performance reviews at work do we firstly state to our bosses, “Before we begin, I am gay/straight”? “Hi, I’m Kat, nice to meet you. I prefer sex with men.” This is total ass-buffonery. I remember a time, not too long ago, where we used a different name for people who preferred to be defined solely by their sexual activity. We called them sluts.

So explain to me why in the hell it’s so important to be openly gay? Why do we need to know and celebrate every gay man or woman who announces to the media their sexual preferences. It bears not weight on the person or their accomplishments. So openly gay scouts makes no fracking sense.

No, my main concern, the one that has me contemplating removing my son from the BSA is how all this open homosexuality will be put into practice.

Are we not going to reprimand a young man who solicits affection from another boy at camp because this would be insensitive to the gay youth and his right to behave openly? Or worse… What if two gay scouting boyfriends want to share a tent? We have to accept this, right under our noses and in front of our children, because the gay youth can be openly gay now? And if the boyfriends sharing a tent makes another scout uncomfortable will that scout get a demerit for not being accepting enough? Have we suddenly agreed to compromise our morals for the sake of appeasement?

I’m sorry, my only answer to all this is a resounding, fuck no.

And if you honestly think this will stop with just openly gay scouts than you need to remove your head out from under that rock. The question has never been “if gay leaders” but “when gay leaders” are welcomed into the BSA. Gay leaders and their open gayness. Around young impressionable youth, youth still struggling through adolescence. Openly gay leaders teaching boys that being openly sexual is ok, against the morals they learn at home and at Church.

I put my son in scouts for very clear and specific reasons, as I am sure most parents did. My reasons were that they reinforced good upright morals and because I believe boys need to be around other boys and positive male role models. What we teach our children at home and in church is going to be contradicted, for sure; at school, in entertainment, and even in the friends our kids chose to be around. But the Scouts was that one organization we could trust not add to that confusing world of contradictory moral messages. Not anymore.

To be sure… this change was never about allowing struggling gay youth to finally enjoy the scouting experience. Gay boys have been members of the BSA in the past. No, this is about forcing acceptance and manipulating children to impose that forced acceptance.

So now what? Is this what we want to be a part of?

I can understand that the boys and parents too are not ready to throw in the towel on this organization. Many have said they will ride it out till things get really bad, which is inevitable. They are invested. I am invested. I don’t think there is going to be a mass exodus… just yet. Not until our bishop makes a statement and our local priests speak out. If you are reading this, bishops and priests, your flock is waiting.

In the end; however, my loyalty is to my son and not an organization. If we are the only ones in our troop to go, yes he’ll suffer by missing his friends, but I think he will suffer more to be exposed to all that open gayness the BSA has suddenly deemed ok for your youth.

Right now the only emotion I can muster is resentment. Resentment for the BSA caving to the pressure and resentment to gay advocacy groups for forcing us to accept their open lifestyle. Why can’t I just accept the person, and not their flauntingly open sexual preferences?

For another eight years my son is still mine. Then the world will take him – unless I prepare him effectively. In the meantime it is my responsibility as a parent to make sure what I teach him is solidly planted. My faith, our Catholicism, is his armor, sword and shield. I have eight more years to forge it before he is ready to face the onslaught of the world. And right now the BSA has just become a chink in that armor which is now my moral obligation and duty to see this weakness is removed.

Things to consider: Scouts of St. George.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Lynne

    Wonderful, Kat. You’re a good mom.

  • oeb25

    Yes, that’s exactly right as to “what’s wrong with being ‘openly gay.’” It’s THEIR widdle feelings that will have to be catered to otherwise you are “persecuting them.”

    You only have to take a look at the musician soldier who is was recently reprimanded from reading a book by Rush Limbaugh because one of the gayladdies in his unit was “uncomfortable.” NORMAL MEN and boys do not want to be hassled by gays hitting on them. And while a grown man may be able to fend it off, a young boy may well react by trying to beat the friggen snot out of the gay kid. And who will be “the problem?” Not the gay kid, who frankly had no business “acting out” but the normal red blooded American boy who should not have to put up with that crap.

  • truelinguist

    Respectfully, I write this as a 60-year old gay man who grew up in an era where gay people were presumed either not to exist or to be so “otherly” that no action was too drastic to keep “them” away from “decent” people.

    The only problem with this view of the world is that it is premised on assumptions and understandings that conflict with reality, namely:

    There are gay people. Everywhere. We don’t “infiltrate” into your lives or your troops. We are simply a part of them.

    And you may not realize we are gay because being gay doesn’t tell you heo good, bad, moral or immoral one is. We are your decent friends, fellow scouts, your children. Always have been.

    So what does it mean to be “openly” gay? Not what the author of this article seems to think. Rather, it means exactly the same thing as to be “openly” heterosexual. It means that when your fellow troops reach the age where they start talking openly and honestly and frequently about “girls”, you don’t just lie and pretend and go along for fear that someone will shun you or expel you —or worse, brutally attack you. It means having the same self worth and integrity that the rest of the troop has.

    And not lying just because it is expected of you.


    • brnicolosi

      But it is a disordered inclination that leads to dangerous physical behavior and stunted maturity, so, maybe we shouldn’t be all blasé about it.

      • Peter Critchley

        That it is “disordered” is no longer the conventional wisdom. As for “inclination” it is an orientation. It is the way I am. As for “stunted maturity”, that seems to suggest that it is something we all share as juveniles but most mature out of it. My heterosexual family and friends will take issue with you on that. I am conservative by nature, and I grew up in a world that was overwhelmingly anti homosexual, and yet in my heart of hearts it was as natural to me as breathing. I came out to my parents, having had no sexual experience, at the age of 18, when I had yet to meet anyone that I could identify as gay. I learned about love from my parents, and when I fell on love I knew what it was and how to be. What I do agree with you about is that this is not something to be blasé about..

      • Nordog6561

        Well, there is that.

      • irmapuddingpopp

        When did you decide to be straight? You didn’t. I didn’t. Just like he didn’t “choose” to be gay.

        • Cui Pertinebit

          We all have many involuntary and unconsidered desires. Some of them are natural and fine, some of them are unhealthy and harmful. It would be foolish to accept the maxim that “any feeling I feel and did not specifically choose to feel, must be a natural and defining element of my being.” Thinking people, moral people, healthy people, learn to use their discernment, and make wise judgments between good and bad feelings.

      • truelinguist

        Well, again I say this with respect, whether “disordered” or not, and whether you are “blasé” about it or no, some kids realize they are gay.

        I see no advantage and many great disadvantages in pretending otherwise– and worse, great cruelty in kicking out innocent gay kids from their own troop. It is, after all, every bit as much their troop as anyone else’s.

        As for “dangerous” behavior and “stunted” maturity, respectfully, it is no help to the conversation to tell gay people they cannot act responsibly or maturely. It is no help to tell gay people they cannot fall in love, live full, meaningful and healthy lives, shared with someone they love and who loves them. In addition to sending a terribly harmful message to gay youth, it is also untrue.

        I am in my 60s. I am healthy (well, give or take a bad back). My partner of many years and I live a good life, a wonderful life. He was there by my side as my mother lay dying. I will be there for him when he needs me as well. To send a message to gay youth that they cannot lead equally wonderful lives strikes me as unconscionable– even cruel. And again, it is untrue.

        We do no one any favors by confusing irresponsible behavior with sexual orientation. Anyone can be irresponsible. We all must learn to act responsibly. I find that the very definition of maturity– and it’s worked out pretty well for me.

        What do I wish for all young people, gay and non-gay alike? — The same thing I wish for you: long life filled with love and commitment.


        • Cui Pertinebit

          As a man who thought myself to be “gay” until my early twenties, please let me answer you in the same respectful tone you have also used, here.

          When you say “it is every bit as much their troop as anyone else’s,” I think you have gotten it somewhat wrong. I was raised an atheist. I converted to Christianity in my late teens. Not having much knowledge of Christian history, I began attending a non-denominational church, where some of my friends attended. After a few years, I began to learn more about theology and history, and realized I couldn’t be a Protestant anymore – if anything, I realized I had to be Catholic or Orthodox. But at the time, I was in a state where I had no firm anchor, with which to steady my faith. I didn’t know what to believe; I only knew that I didn’t believe Protestantism anymore. Seeing that my dissension from Protestant belief was disruptive of the camaraderie and community of my former church, I respectfully left that church. I remained friends with the people, but carried on that friendship in other places. When it came to worship, I no longer presumed. You see, even though that had been my congregation and my group of people, it wasn’t “every bit as much mine as theirs.” The express purpose of that organization, was to rally around shared beliefs and principles, and to edify each other through mutual enjoyment of the same. The organization had an integrity of its own: it was not mine, it did not belong to me, not even in part. Rather, I belonged to it. When I chose to identify with a different set of values, it was only right and decent to let the group maintain its integrity, and to continue to serve its integral purpose in the lives of the others, who still belonged to it.

          The Boy Scouts is a traditional institution for the moral and practical formation of boys into men. From its founding, Boy Scouts has been oriented around traditional morals – not explicitly Christian, but Classically moral and quite compatible with Christianity. The overwhelming majority of scouting families have belonged to the organization precisely with this understanding and aim. I would respectfully suggest that those who have embraced a novel moral viewpoint, would do better to realize that Boy Scouts is not their organization to change, but their organization to leave. I did not feel offended, that my old church could not make room for me and my views and change to suit me. I let it be what it was. I changed myself. I think that is the mature road to take.

          I will also say, from my heart, that even when I was an atheist, I always knew in the depths of my heart that I was wrong to be an atheist. Likewise, I always sensed the inherent wrongness of homosexuality, even when I thought I was an “homosexual.” I think every gay man, if he allows himself to be honest, will realize that “gay” is not what he truly is. He is broken, and his psyche responds to this brokenness with homosexual tendencies, which are a misguided and self-medicating attempt to repair the dysfunction. He thus does not “choose” to experience these incessant homosexual attractions, and so may think they are the same kind of attraction that straight men feel for women, albeit directed towards men. I have since come to be able to feel sexual attraction towards women, and I can tell you that the attraction towards women is qualitatively different than the attraction I used to feel towards men. I now understand that the attraction I feel towards women is precisely sexual – a deep, earthy, sexual attraction – and that the attraction I used to feel towards men really had nothing to do with sex at all. It was an expression of psychological pain, seeking to take possession of the masculinity that had always eluded me. Homosexual attractions are masturbatory and selfish, if it makes sense, whereas the sexual attraction I feel towards women is of an earth-shatteringly procreative and complimentary nature. In heterosexual attraction, I am Man and she is Woman and there is an heady delight in it. In the gay attractions, I am erect penis one and he is erect penis two, and there is almost a bored, disaffected nervousness about it.

          I think every gay man, if he will listen to his conscience in all purity of heart for just a moment, will come to very similar conclusions for himself. He will look at the gay lifestyle – even, perhaps, at his partner for whom he feels a real affection – and know, as plain as anything else, that the love he feels is not true love at all, but a kind of hollow imitation of love, trying (but failing) to reproduce the reality. I firmly believe, in the depths of my heart, that no gay man is actually happy, fulfilled or healthy in his gay lifestyle. I believe that I would be doing something hateful and uncharitable, by pretending to accept and celebrate something, which I regard as a psychological manifestation of a wounded masculinity and a dysfunctional capacity to give and receive real love.

          I know that my homosexual tendencies sprang from a wounded masculinity. I very much wish that a male role model had taken the time to understand me and help to draw out the masculinity in me. Manhood has to be forged, it has to be proactively made. Womanhood comes more or less naturally – indeed, that is why many gay men are effeminate – it is the default state, more drawn to itself and to static domesticity. But manhood, virility (sharing the root with “virtue”) has to be fought for and built up with many labours of soul and body. It is much easier for men who are already manly to model and guide a boy, than for a boy to find it within himself and attempt to develop it without guidance. When I was at the height of my sexual confusion and psychological angst, the worst thing people could have done for me, was to come and affirm my “homosexuality” and rob me of the chance to become a fully healthy, happy, masculine male. I wish a male role model had come along to help me realize that my musical and literary interests were not effeminate, and to teach me how to connect with my own strength and body through sports and athleticism (my father hated jocks and forbade me to play sports). The worst thing that could have happened, would be for a grown man to come to me in my deficiencies and say: “it’s who you are, and I celebrate it.” With that, all my joy would have died inside me. Because nobody did that, I survived long enough to think for myself, trust God, and go through an extremely difficult process of finding, fighting for, and owning my manhood. I know it must seem offensive, to say that no gay man is manly; but I’m not just talking about outward comportment and effeminate mannerisms. I had none of those. Homosexuality is precisely a wound of manhood, and no gay man is really wearing his manhood in the depths of his soul. Period.

          I think it would be cruel to invite teenaged boys to be “openly gay.” They are supposed to be men, they are built to be masculine and to cultivate a woman’s fertility, literally or metaphorically. They need to be encouraged to become what they were created to be, and not led down a self-limiting path full of half-truths and self-delusion. I said earlier that scouting was an institution for the moral and practical formation of boys into men. It can be no surprise, now, to know that I feel affirming a boy in this form of sexual dysfunction, actually effects the utter nullification of this purpose. It is to affirm a boy in the gelding of his manhood.

          This is my considered position, and it comes from a genuine feeling of charity and responsibility to others. It is not an homophobic or hate-filled notion, but my honest conviction going by the best lights I have at the moment, and my own personal experience of the vagaries of human sexuality. I think many people in the Scouts feel the same way. I think the founders of the Scouts felt the same way. I think the whole moral philosophy and history of scouting, is built on values that would affirm the same thing. It seems to me, then, that it is insensitive and selfish to ask the scouts to change the moral and spiritual essence of their organization. Just as I respectfully changed church membership when I dissented from my former organization’s values, I think those who want to so fundamentally alter the cherished beliefs and values of Scouting and its members – alter them in ways that they would find absolutely contrary to the purpose of scouting – would do better to set off on their own.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thank you for answering my question on what openly gay looks like.

      • FW Ken

        That it is “disordered” is no longer the conventional wisdom.

        The conventional wisdom is often wrong. In any case, this is not a valid argument. You would say that when same-sex attraction being disordered was the conventional wisdom, it was wrong. I would say that the current “conventional wisdom” is wrong. So there you go: you have your opinion, I have mine. A generation of propaganda has certainly given your opinion a certain popular cache, but truth is not a question of majority opinion.

        As for “inclination” it is an orientation. It is the way I am.

        It is the way you say you are. There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of “sexual orientation”. It’s a subjective, self-reported condition completely different than racial or ethnic identity.

        • Dan Li

          I fear that you replied to the wrong post…

        • Peter Critchley

          I agree with you on most counts. Conventional wisdom does change, and that does not make it either right or wrong. It is driven by the culture of the day. And indeed my sexual orientation is self reported and the science is far from conclusive. We are both entitled to our opinions. Let me provide you with this context, if I may. In 1980 I came out to horrified parents. It broke my heart to do it as they are the most wonderful loving parents. I was a model child and they were convinced my life was ruined. It was not propaganda that changed their mind. It was sharing my life that did. They soon came to understand what made me happy and became unreservedly supportive. I have been in love now for 12 years and will be married before then end of the year. That is not propaganda. That is my life, and living it as best I know how, and I will defend my love just as I expect that you would yours, though you will probably be spared from ever having to do so,

  • Skylarke

    I think you should start a local group of Federation of North American Explorers: http://www.northstarexplorers.org/about/

  • Russell Tisdale

    Totally agree. Thanks for saying this. My family has decided to leave the BSA. I’m hoping the formation of a new organization will occur soon. Faithbasedboys.org and OnMyHonor.net have more info about this possibility. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the “backwards” South, but the entirety of the leadership of our local Cub Scout Pack has resigned. I’m resigning from the Boy Scout Troop as Asst. Scout Master. Not sure what other Boy Scout Leaders are going to do. Their sons are very close to Eagle.

  • Antonio La Barbera

    I wholeheartedly agree with the author and I think that if he would have controlled his use of foul and vulgar language, this would have been an excellent article, but I guess he was being open about his anger about the scouts allowing open homosexuality!

    I would also lie to add the following: For our evil culture it is the equivalence of war reparations! They were shamed into the closet for millennia, so now they not only get to come out into the open, they are taking over and soon hope to force us into the closet! You have to understand how these deviants think…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I’m the author. Nice to meet you. Also, I’m a she, not a he.

      • Antonio La Barbera

        Thanks for the correction!

        I would try and see if you can take the whole troop out of BSA and do things separately! If things keep up the way they have started, it will not be long before BSA turns into a group for assembling homosexual teens for all sorts of sordid activities and also to recruit them for abuse and molestation from homosexual males! Yes, this is a worse case scenario, but if the path is not reversed, the BSA will get there sooner or later!

        God bless! and best wishes for your son and your family as a whole!

    • Peter Critchley

      It is confronting to be told that I am a deviant who participates in evil. Having had experience in “the closet” I have no wish to subject anyone to it, nor do I know anyone who does. I do not want to take over. I only want to participate in life with the same dignity that is afforded to others. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them for this is the Law and the Prophets”.

  • Peter Critchley

    I have been asked many times about my wife, only to have to explain that my partner is a man. Does that make me openly sexual? When I was an impressionable child I was surrounded by overt heterosexuality, and that made no difference to the development odd my sexuality. Neither will gay people be to impressionable young heterosexuals. Human relationships are about sharing information about our lives, and that includes how we spend our time with those that we love. There is nothing sexual about that.

  • Bill Ward

    As a former scout (50 years ago), I would have to think that no straight boy would want to bunk in with a boy who displays homosexual tendencies. (I refuse to refer to homosexuals as ‘gay’ as they most certainly are NOT). Imagine the cruelty that a homosexual would have to incur from other members of his patrol or troop. And any boy that was the “odd man out” and be assigned a homosexual bunkmate would be asked any number of questions of his experience by his peers. If two homosexuals are bunked in together, are they allowed to sleep together? If that be the case, who would have to separate them? Too many questions.

  • Peter Critchley

    I came out over 30 years ago and have never announced my sexuality. People become aware because I don’t hide it. It happens when we talk about our weekend on a Monday. Non sexual conversations. Many times when a person has assumed I am married I have had to correct them and tell them that my partner is man. There is nothing sexual about that. There is so much about my life with the person that I love that has nothing to do with sex. I agree that young people are impressionable, though not with their sexual orientation, but rather what they do within it. When I was young and impressionable I was swamped with overt heterosexuality but it made no difference to my sexual orientation because it is innate. These changes will allow gay scouts to be themselves. That does not allow any scout or scout leader to be overtly sexual, and that is the way it should remain.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Peter, thank you for your comment. You’ve made some good points to consider. I appreciate your frankness,

  • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

    What a great article!

    And then there is this:

    Jason Felch, the LA Times reporter who investigated 1,600 of the Boy
    Scouts’ “perversion files”, reported that the files revealed a pattern of grooming behavior shared by the suspected molesters.

    According to the article, “In hundreds of cases, Scout leaders allowed the boys to drive cars, drink alcohol, or look at pornography. They gradually tested physical boundaries during skinny dipping, group showers, sleepovers, and one-on-one activities.”

    By spending one-on-one time with a boy, giving him gifts, and allowing him to break the rules, the abuser gains the boy’s trust and sets a tone of secrecy that will continue throughout the relationship.

    To outsiders, the abuser seems like a great guy who loves kids or youngsters.

    As the article also points out, after an abuser has gradually tested boundaries, they will use a boy’s inebriation from alcohol or their arousal from watching pornography as an opportunity to make their move and molest the boy or engage in other sexual activities with an adolescent.
    For a female version of how these “open” boys with a homosexual problem will target other underage boys, all one has to do is to read the Kaitlyn Hunt case.

    And after all these gays molest other boys or statutorily rape them, liberals will say the same thing they said for Kate – they are “just exploring their sexualities…”

    • ASM in FL

      You are talking about pedophiles. The article is about gays. They are two different things. Study after study shows the vast majority of pedophiles are adult male on underage female.
      Pope Benedict XVI in 2008: “I do not wish to talk about homosexuality, but about pedophilia, which is a different thing.”

      • Michael O’Keefe

        I think this refers more the pederasty then pedophilia. And there are many gay men who are open about wishing pederasty to be legal.

  • brnicolosi

    Marco – I think your post must have cut cut off. Where is the canonical error you were going to point out?

  • brnicolosi

    The catechism has something to say about nasty, ad hominem name-calling too.

  • Nordog6561

    I would simply note that “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” is not the same thing as “gay”.

    The former is a personal condition over which one has little or no control, the latter is a political identity, which IS chosen, and comes complete with political agenda and activism, almost all of which is in absolute conflict with the Catholic Church and Her teachings.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

    You are banned.

  • Guest

    The silver hair shows it was a long time ago that I was a cub scout & boy scout. Being open then would have let me participate w/o thinking myself something less. When going round the campfire in succession, being asked about your challenges and how you’re meeting them, I skipped over “my big issue” and invented something else to talk about. When asked about my prior weekend, I’d not say anything. I preferred saying nothing instead of saying I spent time with a “him” instead of “her”.

    Being open in BSA doesn’t imply that others suddenly must think you equal. Mixed-marriage couples aren’t totally acceptable even today. But it’s important to have adult figures around who reinforce the idea that we are all God’s children – and when this generation of adults don’t all share that ideal, it takes policy forced upon them to at least make the motions of empathy even when they cannot feel that empathy themselves.

    We gays are a lot better in social situations than you are. In childhood we master the dynamics of staying aware with other people. You might think we stay in the closet for personal fear, and sure, there is that aspect. But there’s just as much going on with trying to spare your feelings and embarrassment. When you ask 35yo Charlie why he hasn’t married yet, and he comes out and tells you he’s gay, and one of you says “Ay! What a waste!”, the rest of the straights fall silent in embarrassment. Well the next time Charlie is asked the same thing, and he deflects the question, it’s not to save himself…it’s to save YOUR FEELINGS!

    It’s for that reason I laugh when I read here about possible sex in the tent. Since you’re easily 90% of the populace, you straights have been and will continue influencing things socially, as a practical matter. The young gay scout tenting with the boy of unknown sexuality has much more to weigh before making an overture (the adverse consequences are more dire socially), as compared to you, the male reader who fantasizes that the young you tenting with a girl would amount to the same thing. Like I said, you will continue to run the show and it will be decades if ever before gays might be comfortable, for example, holding hands in the local mall. But meanwhile we need policy imposed at the top to encourage empathy so that you also might learn some of our skills; if we can accommote the 90% then certainly in the long run you can accommodate the 10%.

  • Gia

    Take your boy and just move on.

  • ck

    First let me say that I am the mother of three boys, two of whom are Eagle Scouts. While I can appreciate the older gentlemen who have posted their stories of coming out in the past, with all due respect, the younger generation of homosexual teens that I have come across do not seem to have quite the same issues with keeping their sexuality quiet or hidden. As Cub Scouts, there is usually one-on-one parental involvement with campouts, trips, etc. As Boy Scouts there are just the boys and the leader and much more freedom. I think it is still too early to really tell how this decision by BSA will affect the organization a few years from now; however, in an age with adults in authority mishandling their sexuality (ie teachers having sex w/students), and teens feeling more confident about not hiding their sexuality, I can understand why so many parents would be concerned.

  • ck

    I am mother of three boys, two of whom are Eagle Scouts. With all due respect to the older gentlemen who posted about coming out years ago, the young homosexual teens of today do not seem to have the same issues of hiding their sexuality and are not afraid to let you know about it. As Cub Scouts, the boys have one-on-one parental involvement with the leaders. As Boy Scouts, it’s just the boys and the leaders. There is a lot more freedom and minimal parental involvement. With some adults taking advantage of their own sexuality (ie teachers having sex with students), these days parents need to be extra cautious about who they are having in charge of their children, both younger and older. Hopefully it will be an adult whose values and ideals the parents share. Even then, because of District events and camp, the boys will find themselves interacting with all types of boys and leaders. The affects of this decision by the BSA will probably not be known for awhile. It may turn out okay, but who knows? I, too, am annoyed that they did not stand up for their beliefs and caved to pressure.

    • Peter Critchley

      If you think about it, it is probably best that they don’t hide it. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you talk about values. Teens are taught about values in the Scouts, and homosexual teens need to learn about values just as much as any. As long as the leaders and the boys are demonstrating those values then the Scouts brings them many rewards. If they breach those values, then out they go. Their sexuality, heterosexual or homosexual, will not go away, but it is their conduct, their values, and their well being that we seek to influence.

  • hotboogers

    Right with you, Kat, with all the wondering how this will work out in real life … especially those pesky tent assignments.

    With all due respect to the elderly gay men who have posted their experiences … it’s the 21st century now. Nobody has to hide in a closet any more like those poor men did long years ago … well, nobody gay or lesbian anyway. In many teen circles at my kids’ school, being LGBT is viewed as cooler than and preferable to being straight. We have seen how the activist LGBT community is continually demanding approval, not just tolerance but approval, from everyone else. For the scouts, it won’t stop here for long.

  • Maura Sweeney

    I too am a mom of a son in Boy Scouts, I too am still feeling my way through this change in policy. I am deeply saddened by it and can’t help wondering if my son’s generation will be the last in a long line of male family members (4 generations worth) to have experienced Boy Scouting. That being said I am deeply dismayed at the vitriol that is being thrown around regarding this issue. As a past leader myself I have a growing sense that we adults are not offering a good example of the scouting virtues we have hoped that our sons would learn. Part of what I hope my son learns in scouting is responsible leadership. Being a responsible leader includes not just reacting to things on a gut level but studying them and trying to understand the truth of the situation. The truth of the situation is not that “openly gay” young men are being foisted on our sons to make sexual advances towards them. The change in membership guidelines specifically stats that a youth can not be denied membership because of his sexual orientation while at the same time reaffirming that sexual activity for ANY scouts is unacceptable and not in keeping with the scouting oath and law. Is this a slippery slope? It sure feels like the edge of a grassy cliff on a rainy nigh but here is my concern… when we argue from a slippery slope position we deny free will. We make it seem like the outcome is a forgone conclusion and it is not. I feel that all of us who are leaders, and all of those who represent charter organizations for the troops throughout our country are standing at a crossroads We can let our frustration lead us to turn away from Scouting (and the good it has done and continues to do) or we can rededicate ourselves to living the virtues that we thought were so important that we signed our kids up for scouting. The truth is that our sons are living in a world where they will encounter peers who are homosexuals. What are we going to teach our sons about interacting with others? This is not the challenge I wanted at this moment in my 11 year-olds life but it is here. I can be angry that we have to face it or I can grasp the teachable moment and teach him how to be respectful others while standing up for his own values. I can teach him how to maintain healthy boundries in his relationships and I can teach him how to live the Gospel values I have taught him in the challenging world around him.

  • BrandonUB

    Am I openly heterosexual?

    Almost certainly, yes. We signal our preferences in ways that are entirely invisible to those of us who are straight all the time, just as a matter of course. Holding hands in public, or a loving gaze at an opposite sex partner makes it quite clear to people around what your preference is.

  • ASM in FL

    I have been an Assistant Scout Master for the last 10 years, and my son is an Eagle Scout. We have had openly gay boys in our troop and and an openly gay girl in our Venture crew. There has never been a problem. None of the other kids even cared. (Excluding gays was a rule we refused to enforce.) We are a large and very active troop & crew with a heavy outdoor focus.

    You ask what does it mean to be openly gay. It just means not pretending to be straight. A lot of the older guys in the troop have girlfriends. A guy can have a boyfriend. That’s all it means. It not like they are going to take the kids to a gay bar. If guy has a boyfriend, and doesn’t actively hide it from other people, then he is openly gay.

    Openly gay doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time talking about it. It’s just a fact of life.

  • ASM in FL

    Having had several years of experience with gay kids in our troop and crew, I can assure you that your concerns are unfounded. The problems you mentioned just didn’t happen. Scouting does a lot of great things for kids. Please stick it out and see for yourself.

  • Donna G

    “Outside of our bedrooms, when is there ever an appropriate time to be
    openly sexual anything?” I couldn’t agree more!! Perhaps it’s a failing on my part, but I just can’t understand this need to identify oneself so publicly through one’s sexuality. All around me I see people labelling themselves this way, and really, there’s more to a human being than that. I’m not at all interested in anyone’s sexual orientation or activities. It’s actually becoming really boring.

    • GoodCatholicGirl

      Good point. Sexuality should never been on display except when it matters.

    • truelinguist

      If you’ll permit me to respond, maybe I can give you a little of my perspective as a gay man on “identifying publicly through one’s sexuality.”

      Are you married? Have you ever dated? Does anyone –friends, co-workers, family– KNOW that you have dated or that you are married?

      If so, you have identified yourself publicly through your sexuality.

      I remember well in high school when Linda begged me to go to the Prom with her. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly. I liked Linda. We were friends. But I didn’t “like” Linda “that way.”

      A month or so later, Linda’s mother called up my mother, furious, and told my mother that I had broken her daughter’s heart, that I had “led her on.”

      Kids go to the Prom as a social event. Back in my day (the late 60′s), this meant boys invited girls. Period.

      The entire event is premised on public awareness of one’s sexuality. Not sexual activity. But boys are “supposed” to “like” girls. And vice versa.

      Ever put a photo of your boyfriend or fiance or husband in a public space– at work, for example? Ever wear a wedding ring? Ever go shopping or go on holiday with a him?

      Why? Why this “need to identify oneself so publicly” through your sexuality? I mean, why not just keep it private? Why this incessant need to live your live with someone you love? Why not do the “polite” thing and live your life “privately”? I mean, as a gay person, I did just that for many, many, many years– not letting ANYone know that I actually had someone in my life whom I adored.

      I don’t mean to be harsh, but I hope you’ll understand a little bit better what the problem is: our private lives and our public lives are intertwined. I live with the person I love, and we share our lives. Kind of hard to pretend he isn’t the most important person in my life.

      I just took off a week of work to be by his side while his mother lay ill. Any suggestions on how I should explain to my co-workers who this woman is to me– without “publicly” identifying myself as gay? Thanks.


      • Donna G

        Nice reply and not harsh at all. I’m not advocating pretence and agree with everything you have said. What I dislike is the deliberate and public parading of any sexuality, including heterosexual, which I think is vulgar and adolescent. I also dislike people attaching labels to themselves as if that’s all they are, as that reduces a human being. And no, I have never put any kind of personal photo in a public place like my desk at work, as I prefer to keep my private life very private. Mind you, I am not an American!!

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Well, the Venturers are a part of the BSA, and I expect there will be a “trickle down” effect. We don’t let straight boys and straight girls share quarters. If a young man or a young lady expresses their sexual inclination lies with someone of the same gender, they will most likely tent alone to keep that temptation contained. There are standards of behaviour, and sexual preference doesn’t play into those. In short, no nookie in the tents.

    However, before you come down too hard on the BSA, take a look at the sponsors who threatened to pull funding. You can call it selling out if you want, but without big sponsors such as UPS, United Way and Intel, camps and troops will wither and die. And unfortunately, it will be the poor councils which suffer the greatest, as they can’t pull funding from parents and scouting alumni. Frankly, this is what has me the most angry with the Gay-Rights movement. Their actions are directly hurting young men over a non-issue. Gay scouts do not have problems until they stand up and create them. Hell, gay LEADERS don’t have problems, so long as they keep their private lives private, which I would expect of ANY leader among impressionable boys.

    If you’re worried about the future of scouting, step up. I know you sent your boy off to learn from men and have manly man time, which is a great and wonderful thing. But there is a great need for volunteers at the troop, district and council level, and those are JUST the places where we need a strong, moral voice who isn’t afraid to speak up for what’s right.