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Maryland Teen Makes History as Openly Gay Eagle Scout

Pascaltessier

Pascal Tessier was blown away last night when he became one of, if not the first openly gay youths to receive his Eagle Scout ranking. The resolution allowing gay scouts, which passed last May, went into effect on January 1st, and many people believe that Tessier, a member of Troop 52 in Chevy Chase, MD, is the first to achieve the prestigious ranking while being completely open about his sexuality.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy task, requiring twenty-one merit badges, a community service project, and a meeting with a board of review, and Tessier's road was even more difficult to traverse. The teenager spoke, and was open about being gay, to media last year while participating in a demonstration prior to the Boy Scouts of America's vote regarding gay members. The outcome was positive, but Tessier easily could have jeopardized his standing with the Scouts, who still will not allow openly gay adults to participate.

The Washington Post reports:

“It’s just really amazing, and it honestly hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Tessier, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. “We didn’t know if it was going to happen at all.”

Both Zach Wahls, outspoken executive director of Scouts for Equality, and Eric Andresen, father of Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle Scout rank due to his sexual orientation just last year, commented on Tessier's achievement.

“I don’t know of any other Scouts out there who have said, ‘I am gay and I defy BSA to kick me out’ — and Pascal has done that,” said Eric Andresen...

“The fact that Pascal is now able to get his award is directly because of what Ryan unfortunately went though,” Andresen said...

“We certainly think this is a day to celebrate,” Wahls said. “As we see more Pascal Tessiers coming up though the program, getting their Eagle Scouts, other scouting parents and other scouting leaders who might be a little more conservative will see there is nothing to be afraid of, that Pascal is a phenomenal young man and people like him make scouting better.”

Tessier and his mother, Tracie Felker, were overjoyed at the news, but hesitant about the limitations still placed on gay scouts. And for good reason: Tessier's older brother, Lucien, is also an openly gay scout.

Even as he celebrated Monday night, Tessier was well aware of how the partial policy change could affect him. He will turn 18 in August.

“It’s kind of a backhanded acceptance: We accept you for now,” he said. “It says to you you’re a monster of some sort.”

...

Felker said the problem with the Boy Scout’s new policy is that it suggests something changes in her children once they hit 18.

“What no one really wants to talk about is the suggestion that gay adults are child abusers, and that is infuriating,” she said.

“It’s impossible to believe that the creme de la creme of the Scouts, just because they turn 18, are no longer suitable to participate in the programs,” Felker said.

For now, though, Tessier sets an amazing example of what openness and honesty can achieve. A formal ceremony will be held for him and other Eagle Scout honorees in June. Congratulations, Pascal! 

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Comments

  1. And as soon as he's considered an adult, he won't be allowed to have anything more to do with Scouting. Hooray?

    Posted by: scooternva | Feb 11, 2014 11:23:03 AM


  2. I don't understand why any gay person would want to be in the Boy Scouts but then again, I don't understand why any gay person would sign on with the Log Cabin Republicans. You don't support those who want to destroy you. How is that so hard to understand?

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 11, 2014 11:23:19 AM


  3. I was out when I earned my eagle scout badge in 1999. soo...

    Posted by: jim | Feb 11, 2014 11:25:41 AM


  4. But when he is an adult and want to lead a group they will consider him a pedophile.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 11, 2014 11:29:05 AM


  5. While I applaud his efforts I'm disgusted by the fact that the same organization will denounce him on his 18th birthday. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Why any gay man would have anything to do with this homophobic organization is quite puzzling.

    Posted by: DiatribesAndOvations | Feb 11, 2014 12:19:27 PM


  6. Good for him. I only wish his organization was worthy of his participation.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 11, 2014 1:15:56 PM


  7. Congrats! But as others here have said, he must know that when he turns 18, he will be ousted as a vile, degenerate not worthy of wearing human skin. The BSoA is even more hypocritical now than when they banned all homosexuals.

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Feb 11, 2014 1:58:41 PM


  8. $$$$$$ Bethesda / Chevy Chase $$$$$%

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 11, 2014 3:08:42 PM


  9. SORRY, NO, NOT THE FIRST OUT GAY EAGLE SCOUT. Congratulations to Pascal Tessier, but while media outlets long ago stopped "fact checking," we’re shocked and saddened that the group Scouts for Equality doesn’t know their own history. When Tim Curran was made an Eagle Scout in 1980 his troop leaders had known he was gay for some time, even accepting his leadership as an Assistant Scoutmaster. It was only when the local Council found out that he was expelled, after which he filed a lawsuit against the Scouts, eventually losing at the State Supreme Court. More on that landmark case at: http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/curran-top.html

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 11, 2014 4:36:27 PM


  10. but due to the screwed up scout rules this young man could never be a leader but some married pedophile will have no problem

    Posted by: walter | Feb 11, 2014 6:11:13 PM


  11. As i reached Eagle Scout, i knew i wouldn't be allowed to become a troop leader unless i affirmed that i was str8. I refused, as did many others who wanted to give back to the Organization. Hopefully BSA will continue to evolve.

    Posted by: Grego | Feb 11, 2014 8:16:59 PM


  12. Congratulations Pascal.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 11, 2014 10:31:44 PM


  13. Disgusted by any moron who would associate themselves with such a homophobic organization.

    Posted by: DavidinChelseaMA | Feb 12, 2014 6:21:45 AM


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