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Taking a Lead on Transgender Rights—You Go, Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts Reject Anti-Transgender Gift, Then Triple the Money

SEATTLE TIMES | “Girl Scouts is for every girl.” That’s not just an empty slogan. For the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, this message of inclusion really means something.

Transgender rights became a marquee civil-rights issue after Olympic-gold-medalist-turned-reality-TV-star Caitlyn Jenner captivated the nation with her transformation last May.

Since then, the local Girl Scouts chapter has proven itself a model for how old institutions can embrace diversity in the 21st century.

The chapter recently turned down a $100,000 contribution after an unnamed donor requested a “guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls.”

The organization said “no thanks” and started a month-long Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to make back the money that was pledged.

Within three days, the chapter raised in excess of $297,000 from more than 6,000 donors. Proceeds will be used to ensure all girls can join a troop. About 2,000 would-be members request financial assistance each year.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington Chief Executive Officer Megan Ferland’s unwavering leadership on this issue started in 2011. As then-head of Girl Scouts of Colorado, she helped welcome a 7-year-old transgender girl into the fold after the child was initially denied membership by a troop in Denver.

Now in Seattle, Ferland presides over an organization that rejects discrimination. The council’s brave stance has created goodwill from all over the country … Read the full story!