This Girl Scout Isn't Just Transphobic—She Doesn't Know What 'Trans' Means
Back in October, seven-year-old Bobby Montoya was denied entrance into a local Girl Scouts troop in Colorado because she was transgender (Montoya was born a boy, but identifies as a girl). Shortly afterward, the Girl Scouts of Colorado spoke out in support of Montoya, reversed the local chapter's decision, and released the following statement:
Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members...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.
But the happy ending didn't stick. The story has resurfaced because of a seriously creepy YouTube speech in which 14-year-old "Taylor" speaks out against Girl Scouts' acceptance of trans people. In the video above, she calls for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies, citing the benefits of single-sex activities, reminding the viewer of her right to an "all-girls experience," and wondering where trans Girl Scouts would go to the bathroom. Taylor delivers her speech under reductive captions like "Is it safe to hide boys in Girl Scouts?"
This video has gone viral, prompting bloggers and commenters to call Taylor a bigot. Sure, she's urging us to discriminate. But more importantly, she appears not to know what the word "transgender" means. It's clear no one ever sat her down and explained to her that trans women actually define themselves as women, not men in disguise. She makes no distinction between being trans and being a boy, erroneously stating that Girl Scouts has placed "transgender boys"—rather than "girls"—"throughout America without letting everyone know." She seems to think trans people set out to deceive other people, rather than identifying with the gender they feel is right for them. Above all, Taylor's video just proves how badly we need to educate kids about trans issues.
Fortunately, not all Girl Scouts feel the same way Taylor does. The diatribe has launched a ton of response videos, including from a much younger girl named Emma, declaring she is "proud to support LGBT kids." Rapid blowback to bigotry is the silver lining to such public ignorance in the YouTube age. Maybe this story will have a happy ending after all.