Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surfer Patrol sez: "Let the Gay Scouts in!" w/update

I can't speak for the rest of Surfer Patrol, but Patrol Leader Mike Shay says it's OK with him if openly Gay Boy Scouts are allowed into our hallowed fraternity. LGBT leaders, too, although that's a long shot -- for now.

I can't remember the number of our troop, but we met in a church in Ormond Beach, Fla, in the 1960s. While the troop's other patrols bore names of Florida's wild animals such as Panther, Rattlesnake and Gator, my brother Dan and Bobby C. and I all voted to become the Surfer Patrol. As usually happens with surfers, our patrol was typecast as the troublemakers, which rarely happened in real life. Yes, we almost got out troop kicked out of Camp Lanochee. And yes, we did teepee another patrol's tent. And yes, our patrol members were much better surfers than we were Boy Scouts. We could shred, and did. But we were loveable. And we rarely caused any real damage.

When I hear reports that some church congregations have gathered together this evening to pray for continuing a policy of a non-Gay Boy Scouts of America, I say: "Bring it on!" Or maybe "Cowabunga!" Make all troops welcoming to all people, gay or straight. The Mormons say it's OK with them -- and hardly any of them surf. The United Methodists and the Unitarian Universalists and national Jewish leaders say its OK with them. As always, the Catholic Church is a problem. My brother Dan and I were Catholic school boys, outcasts in Baptist-heavy Florida. We all grew up in a time of vicious names, "queer" as a nasty slur, and "faggot." I don't think I used them, but I may have. I was a jock in the South before it became the New South. Let's face it -- even in the 21st century, gay-bashing still exists in Dixie. And in surfless Wyoming.

Let the sun shine in, B.S.A.! Surfer Patrol would dig that.

Update: Boy Scouts of America sez yes to admitting openly gay youth. Fundies freak out.


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