Trans teen fulfils lifelong dream of becoming an Eagle Scout after cruel ban lifted
A 17-year-old boy is overjoyed to become the first transgender Eagle Scout in his community after a cruel ban on trans members was lifted.
Jace King had always dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout like his brother, but due to the scouts’ ban on transgender boys he wasn’t allowed to join until 2019.
That meant he didn’t have long to reach the top Eagle rank before he turned 18 – but incredibly, Jace managed to achieve it in less than two years.
“It usually takes four to six years, I did it in 25 months,” he proudly told ABC 13.
Jace gave up all his weekends to work with Kingwood troops 1219 and 1377, all while facing hurtful scrutiny and backlash for being trans.
ABC reported that comments had to be turned off on a community Facebook page that shared the news of his achievement after so many of them became hateful.
“I’ve been berated and looked down upon by older adults who were associated with the scouts, saying that I shouldn’t be there, that I should be in the Girl Scouts instead,” he said.
But Jace’s mother said the hostility has been largely overshadowed by messages of support.
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“I’ve seen a lot of backlash, but truth be told, when Jace became true to themselves, it made them a stronger person. In that right, as they became stronger … wiser people began to accept them just for who they are,” she said.
Trans Eagle Scout wants to inspire kids like him
Jace’s victory is all the more meaningful as it comes amid a wave of Republican-backed bills aiming to stop trans kids like him from having a normal childhood.
The latest bill, a “cruel and horrific” ban on trans women and girls participating in school sports, has just been rushed through by state legislators in Florida on Thursday (29 April).
Jace hopes his story of defeating he odds will inspire other trans children to follow their passions and accept themselves, in spite of the obstacles they face.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’re born as, or what you identify as, you can make great feats because it is possible for anyone,” he said.