This week I’ve learned more about two slow-moving eruptions.
The first, and quite serious, is the lava flowing from Kilauea, a massive volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, which is a little more than 200 miles from where my husband, daughter, and I live on O‘ahu. Several relatives and friends who like me before I moved here didn’t realize how far apart Hawai‘i’s islands are from each other understandably have been concerned and have wondered about my safety. I have reassured them that we are fine.
Fortunately, the lava flow is slow. But my heart is still going out to residents near the volcano who must be on edge. Many have already had their homes destroyed. More than 1,500 people in the area have needed to be evacuated. As a Quaker, I am holding them in the Light. Please join me.
On a much different note, I read that that Boy Scouts of America’s program for older youth will be changing its name to Scouts BSA.
I had to read this a few times to understand: the umbrella organization, Boy Scouts of America or BSA, retains its name. But Boy Scouts, which welcomes youths from 10 to 17, will become Scouts BSA.
It took a while for Boy Scouts to be more inclusive. Until 2014, it had banned all “known or avowed homosexuals.” That policy remained in place for adult leaders until 2015. After that, the organization announced it would accept and register transgender youths.
But the latest news came like a mini earthquake rather than a slow lava flow. The name change follows Boy Scouts’ decision to accept young women, which has not thrilled Girl Scouts.
Both groups have been struggling with declining membership, but understandably Girl Scouts is reeling with girls wanting to join their brothers and male friends at Scouts BSA or just become a Scout who is not defined by gender.
I certainly have mixed feelings. I fully support the mission of Girl Scouts to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”
My daughter, born with an extra chromosome, has been welcomed with open arms at Girl Scouts. Our chapter in Hawai‘i is one of the reasons why she is holding her own with her same-age peers. Her confidence has grown with each new badge she has earned. Our daughter’s parent leaders have been the kind of role models that my husband and I have wanted for her.
Never, growing up, would I have dreamt that I would actually have a husband, let alone join him for Girl Scout events with our daughter.
I’m pretty sure my husband never joined Boy Scouts. I was forced to. Even though I knew back then I was bisexual or homosexual, it’s a good thing I wasn’t “known or avowed.” Of course, in retrospect, so many people knew I was probably gay.
I simply stopped going to Boy Scouts, and my parents stopped forcing me to do so without asking why, once I realized I had crushes on some of the teenage leaders who were about five years older than I. Believe me, having heard plenty of “fag” whispers when I joined my troop for activities, I was terrified I would say or do something that might — gasp — reveal my true identity.
Fortunately, the world has grown up a bit. Since our daughter has two dads, I’d like her to be around women a bit more! We’re in no rush for her to join Scouts BSA, but if she would like to some day, we’ll help her find her way.