An eight-year-old New Jersey transgender boy was told to leave his Cub Scout pack, after spending a month with them.
Joe Maldonado, of Secaucus, N.J., joined the Cub Scout 87 pack back in October and was told he had to leave a month later.
Joe, when interviewed by the New Jersey Record said, “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.”
His mother, Kristie Maldonado, stated that Joe was born a girl but has identified as male for over a year.”
Kristie also said that “Joe is accepted as a boy at school and that it was complaints from parents, not Joe’s fellow Scouts, that led to his ouster.”
Kristie Maldonado said she was “not aware that anyone had a problem with her son being a member of the pack” until she received a phone call from the Northern New Jersey Council of Boy Scouts. According to Kristie, they said her son would no longer be allowed to participate because he was born a girl.
Eric Chamberlin, a council executive, acknowledged calling Kristie Maldonado last month but declined to comment. He referred questions to the Scouts’ national office and said the issue involved “our membership standards.”
Effie Delimarkos, a Boy Scouts of America spokeswoman, said in a statement the organization considers transgender children as a separate issue.
“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” she said, but added: “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”
Delimarkos didn’t address Joe’s situation or say if there’s a written policy on transgender participants. The statement did say Cub Scout programs are for those identified as boys on their birth certificates.
Justin Wilson, the executive director of Scouts for Equality said, “The Boy Scouts of America is not known to have rejected any Scouts over gender identity before the Secaucus case.”
Wilson stated that he knows of at least two transgender boys who are Cub Scouts, “one from the southern state that he did not name and the other in New York.”
Wilson couldn’t recall a time when Cub Scouts were asked for a birth certificate as a condition of membership.
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