Bobby Montoya is biologically a boy. But he is called she. She looks like a girl, dresses like a girl and acts like a girl. So it was no surprise when she wanted to become a Girl Scout.
But, as the Huffington Post reports, when her mother, Felisha Archuleta, tried to sign her up with a troop leader in Denver, they were denied because regardless of how the 7-year-old feels, the troop leader said Bobby has “boy parts.”
Archuleta tells 9 News she said, ‘Well, what’s the big deal?’ and the troop leader replied ‘It doesn’t matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can’t be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don’t allow that [and] I don’t want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor.’
Bobby was devastated.
This story hit me hard. I have 100% compassion for anyone who feels that they were born in the wrong body. The good news? Increasingly, children are feeling more comfortable about voicing these feelings to parents at an earlier age and parents are responding with understanding and compassion.
A couple days ago I cried my way through this episode of Our America with Lisa Ling. Seven-year-old Hailey was born as Harry but always identified as a girl. From the moment she was able to draw, she drew herself as a girl. She changed her own name from Harry to Hailey and her parents have decided to honor her wishes and raise her as she wants to be raised. It’s absolutely heartbreaking but awe-inspiring as well. The show also featured other transgender individuals whose family’s had abandoned them.
I don’t understand that. I know that, yes, it is devastating to realize your loved one feels that they should be another gender but they’re still the same person. As hard as it is for you it’s a thousand times harder for them to be who they are. If my child told me they felt they were born the wrong gender I would absolutely make the same encouraging choices as Hailey’s parents and Felisha Archuleta.
Apparently, the Girl Scouts of Colorado feels the same way. The group has admitted a mistake was made and that the worker who turned Bobby Montoya away didn’t realize the proper policies. In a statement they said:
“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization, and we accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child lives life as a girl and the family brings the child to us to participate in Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her. Girl Scouts of Colorado respects the privacy of all girls and families we work with. When a family requests membership for their daughter, we do not require proof of gender, we respect the decisions of families.”
According to the Girl Scouts organization, requests for transgender kids to be involved in the program is growing. So Bobby is welcome to be a part of Girl Scouts, but she hasn’t yet decided if she’s going to do so.
What are your thoughts about the Girl Scouts policy and how would you respond if your young child told you they felt they were the wrong gender?
In addition to interviews with Bobby and her mother, the video below includes a really excellent interview with a doctor about his thoughts on raising a child that wants to be the opposite gender.