The Boy Scouts of America are finally reversing a century-old policy that banned transgender boys from joining the group.
Up until now, individuals were admitted to the group based on the sex they were assigned at birth. According to CNN, “Previously, the organization relied on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for its single-gender programs”.
Now, individuals will be admitted based on the gender they identify with and indicate on their application to the group.
People are speculating that this decision came in response to Joe Maldanado’s expulsion. Eight-year-old Joe was removed from his Cub Scout troop just a few months ago for his transgender identity. This exclusion stirred up controversy and conversation. Although it is not confirmed if this caused the change, it no doubt forced the organization at large to reconsider its attitudes on the subject and open up a conversation.
There is certainly still a lot of work to be done to change attitudes and perspectives in a society where the gender binary is still considered the norm. However, this is an encouraging step in the right direction.