Trans boy, 9, officially becomes first to join Boy Scouts of Amercia
A nine year old trans boy has become to the first to officially join the Boy Scouts of America.
Joe Maldonado, who has identified as a boy since he was two, previously sued the organisation after he was kicked out for being transgender.
However, this week joining a new group in New Jersey, pack leader Kyle Hackler, said it was an “historic” moment, as well as praising Joe for showing “an immense amount of courage”.
Helping him put on his new uniform and learn the Scout promise and salute, Hackler told Joe: “This means you’re the same as Scouts all over the world.”
“This is fun, I’m so proud,” added Joe. “I am accepted, and I’m actually in the Boy Scouts.”
Despite being initially accepted into a group in Secaucus in October 2016, he was kicked out a month later after other parents complained.
His mother Kristie was then called by the group to prove her son was a boy, before being told he did not meet eligibility criteria.
However, in January the organisation announced it would be changing its policy, and invited Joe to rejoin a group.
Speaking to The Record, she said she was “proud of the fight” she and Joe had put up against the rules.
In a statement the Boy Scouts (BSA) said the organisation was “pleased to welcome Joe and the Maldonado family back into the Scouting community.”
They added: “Moving forward, the BSA will continue to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.”