Some people in New Jersey are hopping mad that the Boy Scouts of America organization is not ready to welcome transgender boys. But the group is sticking to tradition.
Joe Maldonado, originally called Jodi, was part of Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, New Jersey, for a month before being asked to leave — because he is not a biological boy.
“How dare they judge me?” the child, who is just eight years old, told The Record. “I don’t have to explain it. I am the way I am.” While one can feel sympathy for any child struggling with an important issue — his statements sound an awful lot like an adult’s.
Instead of, “How dare they judge me?” the question should really be: Why should the Boy Scouts relinquish years and years of tradition for one person? Transgenderism is not settled science.
Dr. Paul R. McHugh, a Johns Hopkins distinguished service professor of psychiatry and the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, wrote in a 2015 commentary for The Wall Street Journal that those with transgender issues suffer from a mental problem he termed a “disorder of ‘assumption'” — the idea that their maleness or femaleness is different from what nature biologically gave them.
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He also reported on a recent study showing that the suicide rate among trans people who had reassignment surgery to change their biological gender is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people.
The Boy Scouts recently opened up membership, as well as leadership opportunities, to both gay youth and gay adults. But gender identity is a different matter than sexual orientation to the Boys Scouts of America (BSA), The Washington Times reported.
BSA spokesperson Effie Delimarkos said Maldonado does not meet eligibility requirements to join the Boy Scouts. The organization was not aware that Maldonado was not biologically male at the time he registered.
“During the process, it was brought to our attention that their child does not meet the eligibility requirements to participate in this program, so Boy Scouts of America leadership reached out to the family to inform them and share information on alternative programs,” Delimarkos said in a statement.
“If needed, we defer to the information provided for an individual’s birth certificate and their biological sex,” Delimarkos added. “Scouting teaches its youth members and adult leaders to be respectful of other people and individual beliefs.”
It remains to be seen whether the group will cave to the pressure of a few. Today, even membership in a group that has a basic requirement — gender — will be dragged over the coals by a vocal minority that seek change for change’s sake. And there is no more effective weapon for that change than a child who has been “discriminated against.”