The following email was sent to the BSA on February 1, 2013 in response to their request for feedback regarding the ongoing debate about whether the BSA’s current policy disallowing the participation of LGBT individuals should be revised.
Dear esteemed members of the BSA,
My name is Sam. I’m a 21-year-old Computer Science and Philosophy double major at Dickinson College. I was a member of the BSA for most of my childhood, starting with Cub Scouts in first grade, eventually moving on to Webelos and finally Boy Scouts. I went on numerous camp-outs and trips, went to the Camp Seaton summer camp, participated in the pinewood derby, and essentially did all the things that most boy scouts end up doing over the course of their involvement with the BSA. I made many friends, and those were some of the most enjoyable experiences of my childhood. For much of the time I was in the BSA, I was aware of the fact that I was gay, or at least that I was different from other kids who seemed to be interested in girls. I failed to communicate this fact to my parents and friends while I was a boy scout, in part because I was well aware, even at a young age, of the BSA’s policies on LGBT people, and the fact that if people found out I was gay, my membership might be threatened. Over the years I’ve seen or heard of numerous cases of den mothers, scout masters, and even scouts themselves being singled out and/or excluded entirely from the BSA solely because of their sexual orientation. I’ve even heard horror stories of Eagle scouts being stripped of their badges and rank or having their Eagle Scout projects denied and getting kicked out of the BSA simply because people in the BSA found out that they are not heterosexual.