An eight-year-old transgender boy is disappointed and angry after he was removed from his Cub Scout pack because he was born a girl.
According to NorthJersey.com, 8-year-old Joe Maldonado was born a girl but has always identified as a boy. At seven, he cut his hair and began living full-time as a boy. His new gender identity was accepted by his teachers and classmates at his school.
Earlier this year, Joe joined Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, New Jersey. But after attending Scout activities for a month, he was told he could no longer participate because the sex on his birth certificate is listed as female.
The Northern New Jersey Council of Boy Scouts confirmed that an executive spoke with Joe’s mother, Kristie Moldanado, but did not comment further.
Effie Delimarkos, the communications director for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), told NorthJersey.com that scouts cannot be removed from BSA programs because of their sexual orientation. However, she added that gender identity is not tied to sexual orientation.
While the Scouts have yet to address how they will handle transgender members, the controversy comes just three years after the Boy Scouts lifted a 25-year ban on gay scouts, and just a year after they began allowed gay men to act as scout leaders.
According to Justin Wilson, the executive director of Scouts for Equality, the Boy Scouts of America are faced with a pivotal choice.
“Are they going to exclude a transgender boy for the first time, or welcome transgender boys?” he told NorthJersey.com.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.