Bobby Montoya, a 7 year child has the body of a boy. Bobby loves Barbies and Bratz and feels like he should be able to take part in whatever “girl” activities he wants. Thankfully, his mother, Felisha Archuleta agrees with Bobby. Although she refers to her son using male pronouns, she also acknowledges Bobby’s sense of gender detachment.
Bobby likes to wear” girl’s” clothing, behaves like “a girl” and identifies as a girl. Naturally, in wanting to follow his sister’s footsteps he became eager to join the Girl Scouts. His mother, not having a problem with it, took him to register but was DE-NIED. She was told that despite his feminine appearance and self- identification he still had “boy parts”, therefore the Girl Scouts of Colorado could not let him join. The Girl Scouts worker who Archuleta approached, claimed she was obliged to abide by the group’s policy and this situation was not endorsed by their mandate. His mother was left heartbroken seeing this unfair intolerance take place.
“He’s been doing this since he was about 2 years old. He’s loved girl stuff, so we just let him dress how he wants, as long as he’s happy”
Despite being a generally happy kid, Bobby also, was devastated by this rejection. Damn straight (ha!) I would be too. Mind you I never did want to undergo that whole girl scouty experience. I said f*ck this I’m gonna go build a table with my pops, give me the hammer.
In an interview with 9 News Bobby also expressed his struggles at school. He admitted that because of his feminine mannerisms and choice of clothing he often was subjected to bullying and taunts.
“It was like somebody told me I can’t like girl stuff, and I have to change my name to something else,” Bobby said.
Incidentally, just yesterday, the Girl Scouts of Colorado issued a statement claiming that it was actually a mistake when Bobby was refused enrollment in their organization.
“In a statement, the group said: ‘If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.
‘In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we’re better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers.’”
So apparently the Girl Scouts are a trans/homo/born this way-babies loving organization! They are (now?) working to support the children, their families, and the volunteers involved, be they LGBTQ or otherwise.
“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we’re better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers.”
The Colorado LGBT Community Center informs us that it has become more common to see gender identity exploration among youngsters, and increasingly at an earlier age. An affiliate of the center, Corey Barrett, says, “There has definitely been this increase of questioning at an early age. I think it’s all about providing a healthy environment for them for that to happen. Everyone needs to be prepared or at least have an idea from a policy and procedure stand point how they’re going to address that. And make sure that the public is aware of that.”
Society is finally yet slowly opening its doors to the LGBTQ community. Organizations are modifying their policies to accommodate a bigger variety of people, thanks to those who stand up for who they are and fight this unjust and unnecessary oppression.
In Other Headlines:
Laura Steiner, ‘Student Campaign Against Racist Halloween Costumes’ @huffingtonpost (October 26th 2011)
John Ibbitson, ‘Ottawa set to reveal revised seat-allocation formula’ @globeandmail (October 26th 2011)