The recent Washington Post article was titled “Boy Scouts pitch a more welcoming tent at their National Jamboree.”
It began: “Amid the hundreds of tents erected for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree, one especially stands out — decorated with a canopy of LGBTQ Pride flags and a string of multicolored lights, its tables covered with bowls of rainbow bracelets, pronoun stickers and diversity patches.”
The article proceeded to quote River Campbell, described by the Post as an 18-year-old scout volunteer from Northern Virginia who “describes themselves as nonbinary and pansexual.” Campbell said of the Jamboree, “This is my entire world.” Perhaps themselves should broaden their horizons a bit. Just sayin’.
Campbell also noted: “There’s been days where there’s 2,000 kids in this tent alone. And that is just, like, absurd.” It is absurd, just not in the way “they” meant it. The Post noted that this first-ever “affinity space for LGBTQ youth” has been “embraced at the gathering, as have similar spaces recognizing scouts of color and the first girls admitted by the organization.”
WaPo did admit that “the changes remain somewhat polarizing,” prior to averring that this reflects “the broader cultural moment that has pitted champions of diversity and inclusion against conservatives and the religious right.”
The beatific “champions of diversity and inclusion” are pitted against those intolerant, bigoted fascists, a.k.a. “conservatives and the religious right.” Got it?
The article stated that the 15,000 scouts and volunteers who attended the 10-day gathering were a fraction of the 40,000 counted at the previous jamboree, held in 2017. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America have shrunk dramatically in recent years since gay and transgender boys and men—and cisgender girls—have been accepted?
In any case, “Boy Scouts pitch a more welcoming tent…” is an extraordinarily unfortunate choice of words. With fewer “cis” males in the BSA, there’s going to be a lot fewer “tents pitched” going forward. Literally and figuratively.