Blog | Why Scouting is for all
Scouting’s International Commissioner, Dan Wood, talks about coming out and why Boy Scouts of America has made the right move.
We’re one step closer to bringing Scouting to all. The news that Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is planning to lift its ban on gay adult volunteers is a victory for common sense, fairness and equality.
Scouting for all in the UK
As a gay man and senior volunteer in UK Scouting who struggled with coming out to family and friends over ten years ago, this is very welcome news. While it saddens me that barriers to inclusion still exist in some parts of the world, I am very proud to know that society has come so far in embracing equality. Here in the United Kingdom, all adults and young people are welcome to join Scouting regardless of their sexual orientation
Many would say the move by BSA is late in coming and is only the result of tireless campaigning by those who felt a deep sense of injustice at being excluded. However, we welcome this as a positive step forward and will continue to lobby for full inclusion in every walk of life.
UK Scouting offers life-changing adventure to over 450,000 girls and boys, but the huge range of activities and opportunities we offer is only possible because of the efforts of our adult volunteers who believe in Scouting’s power to make life better for young people.
Scouting’s values mean a lot to me and guide me in the way I live my life. That’s why I am all the more proud that UK Scouting takes such a strong stance on inclusion. You may have seen Scouts out in force at Pride events across the UK. To young people or adults suffering prejudice or discrimination, I want you to know that we’re on your side and that you will be welcomed and supported in UK Scouting.
Nobody should have to hide or live in fear because of who they are. This has since galvanised my determination to continue to speak out.
In my leadership roles I am clear that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people have the same needs as any other teenager. They’ll enjoy Scouting and achieve their potential if they feel valued for who they are; feel safe, included, part of a community and have access to the right information and resources.
Scouts should be leaders in their communities, prepared to be themselves, help others and make a difference to the world.
Find our Pride photo album on our Facebook page.