By the time I graduated high school, I had become part of an elite group of women; after years of work, I had earned my Gold Award. I had become part of the approximately one-percent of all girl scouts to earn this, the highest honor available to young women in the United States, proving my leadership abilities and dedication to service to others.
Now that I am in college, I am among a very different group of peers. I find myself able to explore my gender identity and expression in ways that I had not done at home, and have a number of friends who are already undergoing the long, often difficult process of transitioning. Through all this, it occurred to me: if a Gold Award Recipient or Eagle Scout were to transition, they would have to out themselves in order to reveal this achievement.
Recipients of the Gold Award or Eagle Scout rarely cease to be proud of what they have accomplished. Beyond their eighteenth birthday, they enjoy scholarship opportunities, higher chance of college acceptance, and a leg-up when applying for jobs their whole life through. Why should this crowning achievement from their youth be allowed to become a secret source of dysphoria or, possibly, fear?
While I would love to serve this petition to Boy Scouts of America, also, their current record on LGBTQ issues isn't exactly promising. So, beloved Girl Scouts, won't you set an example and welcome our sisters as members of this prestigious circle of women? I recognize that the Eagle and the Gold have different requirements, and that the Gold often requires more work, but perhaps if a woman's Eagle project does not seem immediately equal she could put forth more service or leadership, retroactively.
Please, as you sign this, indicate if you are either a Gold Award Recipient or an Eagle Scout.
The Girl Scout Law:
"I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout."
Kathleen D. Smith
Gold Award Recipient 2012,
and the undersigned.