Joe Maldonado, 8, of New Jersey was allegedly kicked out of the Secaucus Cub Scouts for being transgender.
"I'm way more angry than sad," Maldonado said. "My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It's right to do."
Maldonado has reportedly been identifying as a boy for more than a year now. His mom, Kristie, said her son’s fellow scouts had no issues with him being a member of their pack, but their parents launched complaints, which led to his being asked to leave the organization.
Although Boy Scouts of America (the parent organization of Cub Scouts) has been under scrutiny before, which resulted in the group lifting bans against gay scouts and leaders, the organization considers transgender kids to be a whole different ball game, NBC News reports.
“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said. "Gender identity isn't related to sexual orientation."
In an official statement, Cub Scout officials also said they defer to birth certificates when determining whether a child is male or female. This, however, prompts the question of whether the group would admit a transgender girl into their programs whose birth certificate states she was born a male.
Once Maldonado’s story began making rounds on social media, it didn’t take long for the Twittersphere to speak out against the Boy Scouts’ discriminatory decision.
This blows my mind Boy Scouts has had a history of problems this is just another one to add to the list https://t.co/U1mKoQkz2m— Vishal (@vishsf) December 28, 2016
Man, as if we needed any other reasons to not support the Boy Scouts.... https://t.co/bnBpH3pBp5— Utah Outcasts (@UtahOutcasts) December 28, 2016
The Boy Scouts are sending the wrong message. We should be embracing 21st century values instead of turning back the clock on progress. https://t.co/vD0KoPIW4t— Scott M. Stringer (@scottmstringer) December 28, 2016
I refuse to let Jack in any organization that flaunts hate like boy scouts do.— Dash Hotchner © (@DashHxtchner) December 28, 2016
They're PROVEN homophobes
My son isn't like that#NoH8
Boy Scouts are up to their old tricks. https://t.co/ZfNAMLqMZK— ResistTrump (@liberalandold) December 28, 2016
Maldonado’s story quickly went viral, which triggered the LGBT rights group Garden State Equality's decision to create a petition to try to change the position of the Boy Scouts and allow Maldonado back into the group.
"The Boy Scouts should accept transgender boys as boys, and treat Joe and other transgender kids with the respect all children deserve," the digital petition reads.
At the time of writing, the petition has garnered 649 signatures of its 2,500 goal.
Regardless of whether or not the Boy Scouts reverse their decision, it’s uplifting to see how many people are rallying behind this child and standing with him in his fight for acceptance and inclusion, which has only just begun.
Banner/ Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr user Steven Depolo