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To celebrate LGBT history month, Explorer Scout, Aimee shares her story…

 

Scouting for all

I am an Explorer Scout, a photography student and I am also transgender.

A few summers ago, before Scouts broke up for summer holidays, I was a member of my Explorer Unit – Radford Rhinos ESU in Coventry – and everyone knew me as male and by my old name. By the time I’d returned after the summer, my leader, Sarah, had heard about my ‘coming out’ over the summer. I wanted to now be known as Aimee, so at the start of the evening she took me to one side and explained something.

She told me that Scouting is for all; she also told me that I would always be welcome at Explorers, regardless of my gender identity.

Sarah asked if she could support me in any way she could and asked how I planned to tell the other Explorers. I hadn't considered how I was going to approach the subject with them so she offered to tell them for me; so at the start of the evening we sat down as a Unit and Sarah explained to them that I was going be transitioning and that from now on I will be called Aimee.

We then we moved on, because, well, it wasn’t an issue. I'm an Explorer and I contribute to my Unit and that's what counts. Since then the entire Unit has been great and really supportive.

Scout and proud

The thing I like most about Scouts is that it’s inclusive. On a Monday night when I go to my Explorer Unit, it doesn't matter that I am transgender; it doesn't matter whether I'm tall or short, fat or thin, all that matters is I am a Scout.

Scouts has given me so many opportunities through the years; when I was a Beaver I was really proud at gaining my badges; as a Cub I was really proud of doing a 10-mile walk and more recently as an Explorer I've been really proud of the support I have had from my friends at Scouts.

I'm now on the Stonewall Youth Volunteering programme, working to help tackle homophobic bullying in schools, and I have also volunteered at the National Transgender Youth Network Conference. I hope to go to university in a few years, and I want to complete my Queen’s Scout Award and eventually become a Cub Leader. For me, Scouting has helped me so much and I hope I can pass that on to a future generation.

I'm proud to be a Scout, proud to be transgender and proud to be me.

Tell us your own inspiring stories on our Facebook page.

Check out this LGBT history resource and visit lgbthistorymonth.org.uk for more information.

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