What’s Wrong With “Homosapiens Only”

  1. First things first, I have a vagina. I wasn’t and won’t ever be a Boy Scout or a Trail Life member. I do have a son, and there may come a day when he desires to join a gender-specific group.
  2. Second things second, I’m cisgender and heterosexual. I may have no right to discuss about what I am about to discuss, other than blatant hate pisses me right the fuck off.
  3. Third things third, these hot-button issues don’t scare me like they used to because I am now fully aware of the power I hold over the comments. I can delete any that include any kind of hate speech – and I will, without hesitation.

So, on to today’s discussion. Gay youths.

Boys now have two groups to choose from should they desire to be included in a character-, skill-, friendship-building organization: Boy Scouts of America and Trail Life USA.

Both groups, Boy Scouts of America and Trail Life USA, have conditions in place to determine eligibility. I’m concerned, in this post, with those specifically concerning sexual orientation:

  • Boy Scouts, after years of the polar opposite, have decided that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone. … The BSA, however, will maintain its ban on gay adult leaders.”
  • Trail Life, newly formed, “will accept boys who are experiencing same-sex attractions or gender confusion… however, it will not admit youth who are open or avowed about their homosexuality, and it will not admit boys who are not ‘biologically male’ or boys who wish to dress and act like girls.”

On the Boy Scouts:

Boy Scouts will continue their ban on adult gay members. I’m miffed by this. Should only the heterosexual boys have role models? I’m not saying a heterosexual adult can’t be a good role model to a homosexual child, they can be and vice versa, but there are unique battles these gay boys are going to be fighting in their life, and these are battles the straight male leaders haven’t, aren’t, and won’t be fighting.

Give both groups, heterosexual and homosexual, someone who has walked a mile in the shoes these boys will be wearing now and in the future.

On Trail Life:

Trail Life is ok with boys who are confused, but none who are secure. I wonder if there is an underlying agenda to un-gay potentially gay boys, turning them against themselves, forcing them to question themselves as wrong, unacceptable. I wonder this because the chairman of the board for Trail Life USA is also a founding member of On My Honor, a group openly opposed to the gay-inclusion announcement from Boy Scouts of America (side note, On My Honor redirects automatically to Trail Life USA).

Unlike American Heritage Girls, founded to be for heterosexual girls only, no gays and no may be gays allowed, as a backlash to the Girls Scouts inclusionary practice, Trail Life isn’t purporting to be as anti-gay as they potentially may be. They are including and excluding in the same breath.

And though they will accept “confused” boys, should those boys come wearing a dress, they will not be included, nor will any boys with a vagina be included. Their acceptance only goes so far.

In conclusion (in my first draft I typo-ed “in conclusion” to be “inclusion”)

The problem with these exclusionary conditions within these policies is the same problem with every social policy based on fear and ignorance, many of which have been revoked. It’s based on fear and ignorance, and the out-right refusal to understand that human differences are simply differences not dangers.

The Boy Scouts of America are on the right track. They have a long way to go, and much of their track is still under construction, but it’s there and now have to opportunity to lead the way for the future of no-questions-asked acceptance of all people as people regardless of religion, race, national origin, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.

Trail Life, they’re pretending, and I think it’s dangerous. I think it’s disguised hate.

And to answer your question, why am I not discussing the Girl Scouts of the USA? Girl Scouts doesn’t exclude anyone except based on gender, and even that has been waived subjectively, such as in the case of transgender member Bobby Montoya.

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*featured image, “Scout Law”, by Matt Rider, Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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19 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With “Homosapiens Only”

  1. I don’t think Trail Life is “disguised hate,” I think it’s perfectly clear hate… and probably more than a bit of fear. As an Eagle Scout, and now with a son who I hope follows along that path too, I’m supremely annoyed by how all of this has played out. The focus should be on learning life skills, building connections, learning how to be good citizens of the world… I’m not sure what sexual orientation has to do with any of that… Will there even be a BSA when my son is old enough to join? Will “Eagle Scout” still have the level of respect that was once reserved for it?
    I know that change is part of life, but traditions are equally important, so while I applaud certain groups efforts to stop discriminating, I’m always dreading the fall of another establishment because they made an issue out of something that shouldn’t have been.

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    • Congratulations on achieving Eagle Scout.
      I say “disguised hate” because on the surface is seems they are accepting, but the underlying statement is Trail Life doesn’t want gay members (they want to rescue boys “before it’s too late”). It is hate and fear; hate and fear go hand-in-hand.
      I believe respecting people for their religion, race, national origin, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation is a life skill and part of building connections and learning to be a good citizen. I believe this will be why the BSA will remain afloat in our ever-changing world. The tradition is a club for boys, their life-boat will be including all boys. The media circus around this will wane, and eventually including all boys, including gay boys, will be integrated into the tradition.

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      • I hope so.
        From what I heard about Trail Life when it was first being organized I knew there would be nothing “accepting” about their group. I bet the only reason they have some caveats that make it appear that way in their charter is because their lawyers told them to put it in. When you start a group the day after the BSA say they are going to allow gay members, it’s pretty clear you are starting specifically because you are not accepting of that. I also heard an interview on the radio a week or so ago (my ipod died and all the music stations were commericals), talking with the founding member of Trail Life and he specifically referenced the “morally straight” clause in the Scout’s Oath – plainly stating that he believed (along with the other people helping to organize Trail Life) that gay and morally straight are in direct conflict.
        I turned the radio off and drove the rest of the way home in silence. There are times when I think that we are doomed as a species, and we deserve to be doomed.
        And I still have no idea why this is an issue. Why do we care what/who these boys prefer? How will those preferences impact them becoming good scouts, good people?

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        • It shouldn’t be an issue. I believe it’s an issue because now that historically discriminated groups (blacks and women) have (the appearance of) equal rights, “we” have to put another group into the category of wrong. It’s a vicious cycle of human-hating-human. Blacks fought for years to be accepted into society, and in some ways still are. Women fought for years to be accepted into society, and in some ways still are. LGBTs have been fighting for years to be accepted into society, and they are still fighting. Once they are, and they will be, a new group will take their place.
          I agree Trail Life was started because of the group’s founding member’s are not accepting of homosexuality. I’ve read and heard comments from them that the BSA’s decision is proof of the moral decline of the country. Trail Life is not accepting anyone that doesn’t prescribe to their view of what living a Christ-centered life is. There’s no room for discussion on their side.

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  2. It still shocks me that organisations are allowed to explicitly state that they will not allow people who are gay to join. It’s appalling and it’s make me so sad for those boys that may want to join and will have to have someone explain to them the reason why they have been excluded.
    Thanks for sharing, I found this both interesting and terribly sad.

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    • It is shocking. Companies cannot explicitly state that gays cannot work for them because sexual orientation is a protected class, but groups like the Boy Scouts and Trail Life can. It’s not right. It sends a terrible message to everyone involved. Thankfully the Boy Scouts have half-way pulled their heads out of their arses allowing members but not leaders. They’re not there yet. Any of these boys with gay fathers cannot have their father as a leader, and that tells them their fathers aren’t good enough. No matter who is being rejected, it’s wrong.

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  3. Melanie,
    When we heard about it, we thought about taking one of ours out of the Canadian division of the scouts. But that one lost interest with them and we had nothing to do…

    This is ridiculous, nonetheless.
    Le Clown

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    • It is ridiculous. There are so many other better reasons to exclude someone from a group’s membership…oh, wait, no there aren’t. Excluding anyone for any reason is wrong.
      Scout membership is declining, and has been for years. The cynical side of me wonders if the Boy Scouts decision wasn’t more influenced by shrinking numbers than a real desire to be inclusionary. Afterall, they’re not having trouble finding leaders and gay leaders are still not welcome.

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  4. What I really don’t understand about any of these organizations is why they even care. Go out, teach the youngsters how to camp and survive in the woods or whatever the heck they do and get on with it. Why is sexual orientation even an issue? Why even talk about it? Maybe they’re uptight because they don’t have any cookies!

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    • It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s an issue because they made one of it.
      And you may have something there – the lack of cookies just may be the key to it all. How many of life’s issues are resolved by sitting at the table with cookies and milk? Maybe it’s just me, but that does more to cheer me up and clear my mind than most anything else.

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  5. It’s two words: Homo sapien. Homo is the genus name and sapien the species name. That’s what’s wrong with “Homosapiens only”. Also it’s supposed to be in italics but I am not sure how to do that on a comment. I agree all cookies and sexual orientations should be welcome at any youth organization.

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