Back in October, 7-year-old Bobby Montoya tried to join his local Girl Scout troop: after all, as his mother asserts, Bobby is transgendered and identifies as a girl, and when the Girl Scouts of Colorado heard that a local troop leader had denied Bobby entrance, they fired back, saying that transgendered children were more than welcome.
Now that Bobby Montoya is allowed to join the Girl Scouts in Denver, Col. however, Christian leaders of three Girl Scout troops in Louisiana are disbanding in protest, saying they are horrified by Montoya's inclusion and worry about the effect it will have on small children.
'I don't want to be in trouble.'
Bobby Montoya first discovered the Girl Scouts through his older sister. According to an interview with CNN, she likes girl stuff: she dresses and acts like a girl, she usually considers himself to be a girl, and her mother Felisha Archuleta supports her decision. But when Archuleta took Bobby to the local troop leader to register, they were shot down.
It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts, the troop leader said. Girl Scouts don't allow that [and] I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor.
Bobby Montoya was crushed. It's like hurting my heart, she said. It hurts me and my mom both. Somebody told me I couldn't like girl stuff.
Bobby's grandmother told the Daily News, The [troop leader] was so rude and made him cry. I mean, he was devastated by what she said...This lady shouldn't be working with kids.
When Girl Scouts of Colorado heard what the local troop leader had done, they stood up for Bobby Montoya, saying the leader was obviously unaware of the organization's policies.
Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members, a statement read. 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.”
'It goes against what we believe.'
Almost two months after Bobby Montoya was allowed to join the Girl Scouts, however, several troops in Louisiana caught wind of the story, and have since disbanded their troops in very public protest.
Susan Bryant-Snure, a mother and former troop leader at Northland Christian School in Lacombe, La. has been especially vocal about the organization's decision.
It goes against what we believe, Bryant-Snure told The Baptist Press, calling the decision extremely confusing and an almost dangerous situation for young children.
Jeff Johnson, a social issues analyst in the Public Policy Department of Colorado-based Focus on the Family, echoed Bryant-Snure's statements, saying having a biological boy in the Girl Scouts would be inappropriate and denied the biblical truth that God made us male and female in His image.
Most little boys who express this transgender confusion will grow out of it, he remarked, adding that boys ought to be encouraged to embrace their masculinity rather than explore their femininity.
I don't know that you can get around hurting their feelings, he added, when confronted with the troop leader's treatment of Montoya. As a parent, I'm aware there are times I say no to my kids and they're hurt by it on a daily basis.
Bryant-Snure has told reporters that she's considering re-aligning her troop with American Heritage Girls, a conservative Christian group that was launched in 1995.
American Heritage Girls itself began in protest to the Girl Scouts' decision to allow girls to replace the word God in scout teaching to phrases like higher being, Buddha and Allah.
'it's absolutely a case-by-case basis.'
Bobby Montoya, the boy in a girl's body, hasn't actually joined the troop in his hometown in Colorado, likely because of the local troop leader. If she chooses to join the Colorado Girl Scouts, however, vice president for communications Rachelle Trujillo promises to welcome her with open arms.
If a child is living as a girl, Trujillo said, that's good enough for us. We don't require any proof of gender.
She does say that she regrets Felisha Archuleta went to the media rather than to Girl Scout heads, saying the organization had been in contact with the family when the press were called in.
As for Johnson and Bryant-Snure's arguments that it would cause confusion or even be dangerous to have Montoya present, Trujillo sees little validity in their arguments at a institutional level.
It's absolutely a case-by-case basis, she said. There's not any rational fear of Girl Scouts being overrun by boys.
Bobby Montoya Allowed to Join Girl Scouts of Colorado:
Reporter's Note: The pronouns in this article use she to describe Bobby Montoya. Other articles using the pronouns he and him to describe this young Girl Scout should be corrected. Thank you for your support.