Gender-based Girl Scouts Do The Right Thing

Bobby Montoya Courtesy of KUSA and CNN

I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was five years old, now at 29, I am a lifetime member. I haven’t been so proud of the Girl Scout organization, especially the Girl Scouts of Colorado, since I received my Gold Award from that council in 2000.

It’s well known that Girl Scouts is a national organization for girls. After some confusion this week, Girl Scouts made that definition even more clear: Girl Scouts is for anyone that identifies as a girl, including transgender children.

Earlier this week, Bobby Montoya from Denver, Colorado was denied membership to a Girl Scout troop by its leader. If you are wondering why this little girl was denied, it’s because Bobby is, anatomically, a boy. Since the age of two Bobby has insisted that she is a girl, so when she asked to join a Girl Scout troop, her Mom did what any other Mom would do and signed her up. The leader that was approached wasn’t sensitive to the difference between gender and sexuality and denied the membership.

Then Bobby’s mother went up the chain to the supervisors at Girl Scouts of Colorado. It didn’t take long for the officials to make a public statement.

“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members, if a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.” – Girl Scouts of Colorado

The leader who denied Bobby, will be receiving sensitivity training and all other leaders will be trained about transgender girls as well. Bobby is welcome to join Girl Scouts and is waiting on a new troop to contact her for membership.

I know that as the mother of two boys that if either of them were to identify as a girl in the future, that I would definitely encourage them to join the inclusive environment of the Girl Scouts.

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12 thoughts on “Gender-based Girl Scouts Do The Right Thing

  1. Props to the GSA. Stories like this let me know it’s an organization worth considering once my daughter comes of age. Now, if only the Boy Scouts would catch up…

  2. My personally history with Silver Sage girl scouts was far inferior to the author. Since leaving I have made plenty of girl scout jokes at how silly it all was and to deal with how I did not fit in with the leaders or most of the other girls (I really wanted to be a boy scout and build and camp, and our leaders were not interested in those sorts of things). However, this is such wonderful, heart warming news, that I may just have to be a bit nicer to the girl scouts for it.

  3. I have never been so glad to have my daughter be part of a national organization as I am right now.

  4. With so many terrible things happening it’s really nice to read a story that shows that there are people out there who are both thinking and sensitive. I can only hope that Bobby continues to receive acceptance in her future. And I thank you Helene, for sharing this with others.

  5. It’s “transgender” not “transgendered”. Ever. Never add an “ed” to this word. Just an FYI to the author.

      1. Actually, I’m a transwoman who very definitely has no strong feelings about this.

        Some transfolk see their trans-nature as something to be treasured in the same way that one’s identity as an American might be treasured[1], some of us see it as a horrible affliction to be solved with medecine. I fall into the latter category and so I would use “transgendered” to indicate that I don’t feel that all-of-the-bad-things are integral to my personality.

        (Summary: Both forms have disadvantages, due to a split in the trans* community.)

        [1] Full disclosure: I am British; I treasure my Britishness; I assume this will hold for Americans.

  6. Actually, there is a lot more to update.

    Nationally, it was confirmed that if a child lives as a girl, is being raised and presented as a girl, then no questions need be asked about their anatomy. (Although how that’s navigated on a case-by-case basis no-one seems sure about — since they can’t, for example, camp with the girls without adults present.)

    But after investigation, the boy in question here has been denied because he is not actually living as a girl, or presenting as a girl. He is called a boy/son/etc by his family. It appears that he just likes girly things (he lives in an all female household) and wanted to be a GS like his sister. As he doesn’t seem to be transgender he was turned down.

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