A New Jersey Cub Scout pack on Tuesday
welcomed Joe Maldonado, a 9-year-old transgender boy, into its ranks,
one week after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) lifted its ban on
“This is fun. I'm so proud,” Joe
said during Tuesday's meeting.
Joe, who decided to start living as a
boy in 2015, was asked to leave Pack 87 in Secaucus in November, only
a month after he joined the program.
Joe's mother, Kristie Maldonado, told
CNN's Don Lemon at the time that she thought the parents pressured
the Scouts to oust her son.
In a statement released late last
month, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it would begin
admitting transgender youth to its programs. The organization began
accepting openly gay scouts in 2013 and leaders in 2015.
Joe is a member of a new pack, Pack 20
in Essex County, which had reached out to the Maldonados after
hearing their story.
Pack leader Kyle Hackler praised Joe at
the meeting for showing “an immense amount of courage.”
The Boy Scouts welcomed Joe in a
statement, saying it was 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