The BSA excludes homosexuals from its ranks, and has even fought to the Supreme Court for the right to so discriminate. I took this as a reason to actively not earn my Eagle, until I began to realize that I had as much a right to work toward it as any other Scout, and wanted it for many of the same reasons. Plus, as a friend of mine pointed out, "it would be a big 'up yours' to be an upstanding member, get the reward, and then turn around and say, 'By the way, I like boys!'" In any case, I thought I would try to prove that one can indeed be both gay and an excellent Scout, helping to further confirm the absurdity of the BSA policy. So I did the merit badges and project, and here I am, an Eagle. What I didn't consider is that my "up yours" to the BSA could be perceived as an "up yours" to the mentors and former Scout leaders who sat on my Board of Review tonight.
My coming out is a matter of time, for my own sanity. So, these men, some of them father figures to me over the years, will feel justifiably deceived when that happens, no? Duped, even betrayed, for having passed me off to the highest level of Scouting? My last question tonight was if I had "violated the law of the land;" I confessed that I had perhaps broken the speed limit here or there, but done nothing more serious than that. It was then explained to me, "We just don't want someone to get their Eagle this week if they're going to jail the next." "Especially with our signatures on it," someone added, indicating it was, to some degree, a matter of their personal reputation and judgment. I assured them I am a law-abiding citizen except, I said lightly, for the exceptions I mentioned. "It's more about moral things," the district advancement person said. "That is very, very, very serious..."
I pledged, on my honor, to "do my best to do my duty to God," even if it's not in the context of the LDS Church, but they may well interpret my leaving the Church as turning my back on God. I pledged to be "morally straight," not straight, but many of them will probably not see a difference.
So, how now do I come out without hurting these men? Will I be stripped of my Eagle status? Or will I effectively strip these men of their status, or at the very least damage the community's trust in their judgment?
Furthermore, for the past few weeks I've been going to church for the sole reason of Scout-related business. I've told my bishop, privately, that I will probably not always be apart of the Church. But the rest of the ward has no idea, so if I stop going to church now that I have my Eagle, will not my Young Men's leaders feel used and unfairly taken advantage of?
Yet I have neither desire nor reason to go to church (I'm certainly not being forced by my [inactive] mom); three hours of hurt because of my differing sexual and religious orientations confirmed that to me today (not to say I'm leaving because I've been "offended," but because my religious beliefs have changed, something I will post about soon, and because on a thousand levels I don't fit in--church attendance is not making me a better person in any way--and the truth is, I hardly consider myself Mormon, if at all, anymore). So, so long as it is a net negative experience for me, why should I feel compelled to continue going? I have as much desire and reason to attend a Catholic mass or a Baptist sermon as I do LDS services, even though I am fairly heavily invested in the ward...
I'll end by noting that this whole scenario is IMHO rather unfair--I should be able to be myself and earn my just rewards without worrying about things like this. But the reality is not so, and right now this is the reality I and other gay Scouts have to work with. Accordingly, any advice as to how I should proceed given these circumstances would be much appreciated!