Originally published on Advocate.com January 19 2013 1:18 PM ET
After a life as a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, and Derek Nance decided it was time to come out to the organization that may fire him simply because of his sexual orientation.
Nance, who currently works as a Boy Scout camp leader for Mataguay Scout Ranch in the San Diego area, released a video Friday, in which he speaks about having to conceal his sexual orientation around some of the people he has felt closest to: his fellow camp leaders and staff.
Nance added that the scouts themselves literally have their lives in each others' hands while they spend the summer rock climbing, shooting, and soon, ATV driving. They discuss the philosophical and scientific wonders of the universe. "And yet," he says, "the Boy Scouts of America still thinks that this group is not mature enough to handle a discussion on sexual orientation."
He urges others within the Boy Scouts of America to come out, and raise the issue over the BSA's antigay policy.
"The only way we will change the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policies is if those of us who are on the front lines representing them to thousands of scouts every single summer start engaging in some open dialogue on this issue. Lawsuits by the ACLU or confidential reviews by the Boy Scouts are not going to change policies. The first step to coming to an agreement on this issue is to drop the old pretenses and stereotypes and to start actually talking."