Friday, April 12, 2013

Eagles Amongst Us

An article in today’s issue of The Washington Post triggered a memory.

While foolishly juggling too many grocery bags in an effort to make one trip between the store and my car, I stumbled and dropped several. Thankfully I didn’t fall, but it was still embarrassing and annoying.

Within seconds, a strapping young man appeared seemingly out of nowhere. After making sure I was OK, he easily picking up the bags and carried them to my car and waited while I got the trunk open.

My words of thanks felt pitifully inadequate, but he just grinned and said he was an Eagle Scout and it was his pleasure to help. Having had two brothers in scouting, I knew what it took to earn that distinction. As I snapped shut my gaping mouth, I shook his hand and said I was proud to meet him.

The Boy Scouts of America have produced young men like this for more than a century. However, now, they are going to great pains to identify and excommunicate those who are “different” -- gay. It seems that some religious and secular organizations are adopting Puritan principles when it comes to sexuality.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was possible to gather statistics on how many boys who earned Eagle Scout status during the past century were homosexuals. Now THAT would be an eye-opener!

One reason there seems to be an explosion in the LGBT* population is that its members have organized and now have strength in numbers. They’re fighting back against decades of fear, confusion, mistrust and outright hostility to embrace their human rights. It is still an uphill fight.

Here, in the nation’s capital city as elsewhere, gay and transgender persons have been viciously attacked and/or killed because of their differences. What the Boy Scouts is doing is just as damaging psychologically.

Being excluded from something because of the way someone was born can be excruciating. I would compare it with saying you can’t join this or that because you don’t have green skin and purple eyes. LGBT people are born as they are. Think about it; why would anyone choose to be discriminated against and ostracized?

So, to the young man in Bethesda working hard to earn Eagle Scout status, I say BRAVO and don’t give up the fight. Plenty of people believe in you and hope that revealing the truth about yourself will help to change the status quo.

Every child deserves a chance to achieve excellence and to earn the praise that goes with that achievement. Scouting has been a firm advocate for that until now. It needs to step out of the mire of social disorientation and return to it’s laudable roots.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender


Mark said...

The Scout organization make me very angry. Seriously, get with the program people. And being an Eagle Scout is very impressive to me.

dcpeg said...

Thanks, Mark. If organizations keep stepping backwards in their attitudes, they will cease to exist. Maybe that's a good thing.