Oh man. Just catching up on news in the parent world. What’s this about the Boy Scouts prohibiting gay troop leaders? Are they for serious? I always took for granted that the scouts were a gay-friendly organization. Consider:
• Every year the scouts convene at a jamboree. I’m racking my brains for a word with more gaylord cred than jamboree. Maybe cubmaster? Hmmm. “Hey gang! Come along to the jamboree! We’re gonna have ourselves a gay old time!” I can totally picture someone saying that.
• In an apparent effort to make Nathan Lane look macho, the Boy Scouts all wear neckerchiefs. If they were any campier they’d be the Village People.
• Boy Scouts greet each other with a three-finger salute. Make of it what you will.
• The scouts offer a merit badge in water sports. Frankly, my internal editor hesitates to even type those words. For sheer raunchiness, water sports is up there with rodeo sex, dirty Sanchez, and duck-butter.
• Oh wait, I finally came up with a word that’s gayer than jamboree. Ready? Webelos.
Okay so I’m having a laugh at the Boy Scouts’ expense. But their hypocritical policy invites ridicule. After agonizing over this issue, the Boy Scouts of America finally decided to allow gay scouts, while still prohibiting gay leaders.
I’m so disappointed. The BSA actually had a chance to lead, and instead they tried to strike a compromise between bigotry and acceptance. That’s so 1990s. (Think don’t ask/don’t tell.)
In a way it’s sad to see this 103 year-old organization try to adapt to changing times. They’re like your endearing-but-bigoted grandpa who knows he’s out of step with contemporary mores, but can’t overcome the prejudices of his generation.
(Also like your grandpa, the Boy Scouts have an affinity for polyester, high waist bands, and a sharp crease in their shorts.)
Sure it sucks that a youth organization must grapple with adult issues like sexuality and discrimination. But you don’t model leadership by ducking difficult issues.
The Girl Scouts seem to be managing just fine without excluding anyone based on sexual preference. No hand wringing. No soul searching. Just a stated commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, plus an across-the-board rejection of all discrimination. How refreshing is that?
So man-up, BSA. Grow a pair. Or better still, show some genuine bravery and follow the girls’ lead.