Ed Team

The Boy Scout Pledge

Filed By Ed Team | June 18, 2011 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Boy Scout Pledge, Micahel Glatze, The New York Times Magazine, XY Magazine

"I Solemnly Swear,/Never to tell the Scoutmaster./Never to tell the others. Never to let such/Knowledge leave this tent, Never to acknowledge you/Again, Never to tighten your handkerchief again, Never to/Look in your eyes again, Never to race soapbox derby in/The sand with you again, Never to read Whitman as you/Cuddle till you sleep, Never to creep, carefully to the lake/With you again, Never to take wildflowers/To your tent again, Never to cry for you again, Never to tie/Knots in each other's hair,/Never to breathe your air,/Never to touch your inner thigh,/Never to catch your stare./Never to be two boys together, clinging./Never to dare."

-- "The Boy Scout Pledge," a poem written by a young Michael Glatze, the subject of a new piece by Benoit Denizet-Lewis in The New York Times Magazine. Glatze, the former out-and-proud editor of the gay youth-focused XY Magazine, has "gone straight," without ex-gay therapy, he said.

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I just want to comment that the Stupid seems restricted to the Boy Scouts of America.

My partner is a scout leader here in Australia. Noone cares that she's married (Legally, even, thank you loopholes!) to a woman, or that I am trans. In fact, I have rarely found so supportive a group as the people drawn to Scouting in Australia. I know this is not atypical of non-US scouting, either. The AU scouts really, really wish they could distance themselves from their idiot cousin.

I read the NY Times Magazine article related to this posted poem. It seemed to me a sad article. But in reference to the above poem let me say that not all scout troops, packs, dens or explorers exist as portrayed in the poem.
I was asked after graduating college @ 20 to be an assistant scoutmaster for our church's scout troop. I never hid my sexual orientation. And my church, an Episcopal church was very opening to me ever since I can remember. I was involved in many aspects, classes and as a teacher. This was just an extension of my service.
Somehow, I felt there was a reason the scoutmaster and the committee and the liaison priest wanted me to be involved with the troop. To be a bridge. To show a troop which was all-inclusive. And because I was just myself, the boys in the troop knew they could come and talk to me about anything. And there were many gay or questioning boys in our troop throughout the years.
So, as a HIV/AIDS educator I was asked and able to explain safer sex techniques. As a psychologist and theologian I was able to discuss their concerns with feeling they were different from others. But as an accepted member, all the boys, and their fathers who helped became an accepting group of people.
Sometimes it can be better and not just get better. Even in groups thought to be homophobic. It just depends on the members and those guiding it. It does get better when there are open-minded people somewhere. And especially in a group like boy scouts or girl scouts. Formative groups for youth. And I had met many of the boys after they left the troop. They were so happy they had someone to talk to about the way they felt. Someone non-judgemental, and allowing for them to grow into wonderful men of the world. I miss those days. I only hope there are more men like me in scouts helping them to grow. I would have been a scoutmaster and our troop a troop where openness of feelings would be allowed and not chided, frowned upon or discouraged.