TRANSGENDER BOY, 8, WAS ASKED TO LEAVE CUB SCOUT PACK
secaucus, n.j.» The family of an 8-year-old New Jersey boy says he was kicked out of Cub Scouts because he is transgender, a move that could open a new front in the debate over discrimination in Scouting.
Joe Maldonado joined Pack 87 in Secaucus in October and was asked to leave about a month later.
“I’m way more angry than sad,” Joe 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.”
Joe was born a girl but has identified as male for more than a year. His mother, Kristie Maldonado, said 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.
“Not one of the kids said, ‘You don’t belong here,’ ” Maldonado said.
The Boy Scouts of America endured years of controversy before lifting bans on gay Scouts and leaders in recent years. But spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said the organization considers transgender children 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.”