My name is Lauren Jasenak and I'm calling on the Great Lakes Council to stop discriminating against gay scouts, adults, and volunteers, and vote to end the Boy Scouts of America's national anti-gay policy this May.
Last summer, the day after the Boy Scouts reaffirmed their policy banning gay youth and leaders, I was fired from Michigan's D-bar-A Boy Scout Ranch. The camp director coerced me into signing a piece of paper stating that I was a lesbian. Then he forced me to leave the camp that day, despite not having a car, and being two hours away from home.
As a 19-year-old, I am still in disbelief that the Boy Scouts discriminated against me. I didn't even realize you could be kicked out of the Boy Scouts for being gay. I felt alone and scared, but most importantly, I had no idea how my rabbit, Thumper, and I were going to get home.
I was raised in a Scouting family and have been involved with Scouts for most of my life. My brothers were involved in Boy Scouts and I was a Girl Scout. My parents also volunteered as Scout leaders.
When I turned 14, I decided that what I really loved were high adventure activities, so I joined the Boy Scouts Venturing program. Shortly after, I started working for Boy Scout camps in Michigan, and up until last July, I've loved every minute of it.
I know many other Scouts who identify as gay. I'm am outraged that they must hide who they are to stay in scouting under this policy. No one deserves to be treated as I was. This policy goes against the scouting values of honesty, kindness, respect, and courage.
Please join me in urging the Great Lakes Council to vote against the Boy Scouts' national anti-gay policy this May, and adopt a full non-discrimination policy.
Together, we can help make the Boy Scouts great again.