Comment: Gay does not mean paedophile
One of the ugliest lies our heternormative culture spreads is the idea that gay people threaten children.
Of course, gay people are capable of abuse – but so are straighties. The gay community poses no more risk to children than any other social group. Furthermore, recent research revealed that lesbian parents were actually less likely to abuse their children. So there.
Why, then, does the Boy Scouts of America prevent gay people from becoming members or serving as leaders? Does this shock you? Britons are protected from such discrimination and, though it is still possible to express prejudice in covert and creative ways, an outright ban on a particular group of people sounds like something from the Victorian Era. Not so in North America, though.
In the land of the free, it is perfectly legal for the Boy Scouts of America to reject a mother because she happens to be gay. Ask Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forced to resign as a den leader because the National Office discovered her sexuality.
Pretty shitty, right? Well, imagine how upsetting it must be for Jennifer’s 7-year-old son, and scout, Cruz.
One thing the Boy Scouts of America should have realised is that you don’t mess with an angry mum. And, though she came to activism reluctantly, Jennifer is fighting back. She’s chosen to highlight the homophobic Boy Scout policy with a change.org petition. So far, it has more than 120,000 signatures. Show some queer solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic, ladies. Sign it.
Paris Lees is the editor of META, a new magazine for trans people.