January 12, 2012

Fight Bigotry: Eat Girl Scout Cookies!

One of my favorite Christian ministers was the late Rev. Fred Rogers. Known as “Mr. Rogers,” Fred was a Presbyterian pastor, who devoted his life to a children’s television show that wasn’t church, but was very much his ministry. This gentle man began every show by entering a house, taking of his sport-coat and dress shoes, and putting on a cardigan and sneakers. He sang some dorky songs. One of them went like this:
Some are fancy on the outside.
Some are fancy on the inside.
Everybody’s fancy.
Everybody’s fine.
Your body’s fancy and so is mine.

That song was empowering to me and my twin sister as we compared each others special parts and knew that we were a-okay.

Well, some kids, are even more special, and just as a-okay. Some kids have boy parts and yet in their minds, they know that they are girls and visa versa. Though a tiny percentage of the population,  a staggering 41 percent of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide. About 19 percent of transgender people report being refused medical care because of their gender-nonconforming status, and a shocking 2 percent have been violently assaulted in a doctor’s office.

And…. they are often discriminated against … even at a young age.

Case in point. 7-year old Bobby Montoya’s being denied admittance into the Girl Scouts because “she has boy parts.”


That story broke last October but had a happy ending. The Scout leader who told Bobby she couldn’t join was mistaken about Girl Scouts of Colorado policies and Bobby was admitted.

It is now official GS policy that any child presenting as a girl is welcome. They also have a longstanding tradition of accepting lesbian scout leaders and scouts. They are also fully accepting of all religions (and atheists) and while the Girl Scout Law & Promise include the word “God,” there are alternative versions that are totally accepted.

And YET….

…ONE  ex-Girl Scout seems to have her pretty pink knickers in a twist.


Even though she doesn’t live in Colorado, where Bobby is a Scout, and even though she quit the Girl Scouts, 14 year old “Taylor” is launching a campaign to encourage Americans to boycott the purchase of Girl Scout cookies because she feels that the Girl Scouts are deceiving America’s girls by letting in boys in girls clothing. Never mind the fact that the percentage of transgendered people is very low, and the percentage of them who’d wish to be Girl Scouts is even lower, she’s perceiving that the sky is falling and that next thing we’ll know, cats and dogs will be sleeping together! The horror.

Okay gang,

in the name of Mr. Rogers, in the name of  the Bobby Montoyas of the world, and in the name of all that is holy, 

let’s order a LOT of Girl Scout cookies this year!!

Let’s counter this horridly bigoted boycott by helping to make this year’s cookie sale the most successful yet!

You can find your local Cookie Sellers here. They also tend to have card tables set up at  the front doors of grocery stores. They tend to sell them at church too. A Thin Mint or a Samoa sound like a lovely post-Communion treat. : )

As a health-related transition, ironically, while being inclusive of trans-gendered kids, Girl Scout cookies are now trans-fat free! Here’s a petition to sign to let the Girl Scouts know that you support them!

Rev. Roger Wolsey, Eagle Scout class of 1986

p.s. **On a related note, unlike the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts of America (while a wonderful organization) still does not allow officially gay or atheist scouts or leaders. But, as with the United Methodist Church (which also doesn’t officially allow gay leaders), each regional Council (or Conference) and each local troop (or congregation) has wide variance in their actual policies. Many councils and troops either have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, or they simply don’t enforce the official prohibition against being gay.  I intend to help change both the Boy Scouts of America and the United Methodist Church from the inside.

Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist minister and is the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity. He blogs for Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, and Patheos.

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