Open Letter to BSA

November 1, 2012 Michael Johnson Youth Protection Director Boy Scouts of America   Dear Michael,   As the Boy Scouts of America hosts the National Symposium on Youth Protection, I’d like to bring up a serious issue affecting the lives and hearts of countless boys which thus far, the Scouts have refused to address. I grew up in Tallahassee. In the 60’s, when I was a scout, my dad was president of the Suwanee River Area Council. So I knew the leadership and the scout executives, and the scoutmasters and philanthropists in the community, and I saw how the tradition was passed from father to son. Indeed many of my friends became scoutmasters. I did not follow the tradition. Once I became an adult I had little to do with Scouting. I felt as if I shouldn’t be involved. Despite the facts that I had become the youngest Eagle Scout in my council’s history, that I had earned the God & Country award, that I was an Arrowman, that I loved the outdoors and had skills and talents I could’ve passed on to others, I stayed away. I stayed away because I knew that I had problems I could not tell anyone about. I was gay, but that wasn’t the nightmare I couldn’t talk about. The unspeakable secret was that throughout my childhood my father had molested me, and my friends. He did these things at home, on scouting trips, at our beach cabin, and at sea on fishing trips, in the fallout shelter he’d built to protect our family from nuclear war. But because my father was “important”...