Joe Maldonado, 8 years old, was excited to join New Jersey’s Cub Scout 87. And though it was well-known he was transgender, he was happily involved in the group for a month before things took a turn for the worse.
Though none of the children seemed to mind that Joe was trans, it appears some parents did as they made complaints about it which resulted in Joe being kicked out of the group.
“It made me mad,” Joe, told USA Today. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
Though the Boy Scouts have lifted a ban on openly gay scout members and openly gay scout leaders and employees, Boy Scouts of America Communications Director Effie Delimarkos says that gender identity is a separate issue.
“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” she said.
And added, “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”
See Joe talk about the experience below: