Friday, April 8, 2011


Dear Boy Scouts of America (local council),

Thank you so much for the invitation to the upcoming banquet to honor the Eagle class of 2010. Having received my Eagle some forty years ago, I know what it means to have accomplished this important goal. Particularly in this day and time, I'm glad young boys have the opportunity to participate in the character-building path to Eagle.

My involvement with Boy Scouts from 1969 to about 1979 was all good. I write about some of my experiences in Glass Houses, a memoir about my life. My time in scouts helped me to develop leadership skills, instilled a sense of pride in my abilities, and fostered relationships I maintain to this day.

Unfortunately, I won't be attending the banquet to honor the 2010 class of Eagle Scouts. Nor will I be sponsoring any of the boys to be honored at the banquet. Frankly, I'm surprised you even asked.

The Boy Scouts of America has made it quite clear there is no place in your organization for people like me. You see, I'm gay. In your organization that little tidbit of information overshadows my Eagle and all my accomplishments since.

Never mind that the character I developed through Boy Scouts helped me to survive an extremely difficult time in my life. Even with a pedophile for a scoutmaster I learned the value of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Until people with beliefs like yours convinced me I'd burn in hell for all eternity, I tried my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times; and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

My time in scouts shaped me into the man I am today. The integrity I gained through scouting prevents me from supporting yours or any other homophobic organization. It's a shame, too, I know many current scouts would likely be inspired by my story.

Until your organization changes its position and opens scouting to ALL boys, I won't be attending your banquet. No matter how deserving they may be, I can't provide financial support to the new Eagles, either. Please extend congratulations to them from...

The Crotchety Old Man


RandyR said...

Well said! I think this should be made more aware to the public.

Emily said...

ditto on randyr's comment

The Crotchety Old Man said...

Thanks Randy and Emily. Unfortunately most straight people aren't aware of the petty prejudices and discrimination that affect gay people every day. On the plus side, things are much better than I ever would have envisioned 30 years ago. That doesn't keep me from wanting full rights today.

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