Boy Scouts alters policy, allows first transgender boy to join

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Joe Maldonado

SECAUCUS, New Jersey -- A New Jersey boy has become the first openly transgender member of the Boy Scouts one week after the Boy Scouts of America changed its policy to allow transgender children to join the organization.

Nine-year-old Joe Maldonado returned to the Cub Scouts as the newest member of Pack 20.

Joe's mother did not want him to return to his old pack, Pack 87 in Secaucus, N.J., where scouting officials told her some parents complained last year.

The Boy Scouts organization said in a statement that the organization, "is pleased to welcome Joe and the Maldonado family back into the Scouting community. Moving forward, the BSA will continue to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible."

The organization changed its policy of referring to gender on birth certificates to determine eligibility last week after Maldonado's story gained national attention. Previously, the Boy Scouts overturned bans against gay scouts and scouting leaders.

"This is fun; I'm so proud," Joe said during a meeting.

Scout leader Kyle Hackler taught Joe the Cub Scout salute and oath.

"This means you're the same as Scouts all over the world," Hackler told him.