Seven-year-old Bobby Montoya of Denver, Colorado, who dresses in traditionally feminine clothing and enjoys playing with traditionally feminine toys (a certain Curb Your Enthusiasm episode featuring a sewing machine comes to mind), has been allowed to join the Girl Scouts after having initially been denied registration by a local troop leader. Bobby's mother, Felisha Archuleta, who says her son has identified as a girl since about the age of two, explained what happened when she went to register her son:
"I said, 'Well, what's the big deal?' She said, 'It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don't allow that [and] I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor.'"
Bobby told Denver's 9NEWS that he has been bullied at school, and that "It's hurting my heart. It hurts me and my mom both." And referring to his original rejection by the Scouts, he said, "It was like somebody told me I can't like girl stuff, and I have to change my name to something else."
But The Girl Scouts of Colorado went on to clarify the situation, releasing a statement that said they are an "inclusive organization," and that "If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout." So it appears that the troop leader just hadn't been up to speed on the organization's policy.
There has been an increase in kids questioning their gender identity at earlier ages than ever before, and someone like Chaz Bono has put a very public face on the issues that individuals born with a mismatched anatomy, so to speak, have to confront. Though he didn't ultimately win Dancing with the Stars, and was called "a cute penguin" in the process, he set a pioneering example by being the first transgender contestant on the show. If Bobby Montoya wants to play with a Strawberry Shortcake doll, good for him. Allowing him to join the Girl Scouts isn't hurting anyone, other than the feelings of bigots.