By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com May 23 2013 5:00 AM ET
As the Boy Scouts of America's National Council today considers reversing its long-standing ban on openly gay youth in scounting's ranks, a new video puts the more than 1,400 voting members in the room as one 19-year-old Eagle Scout revealed to his camp director that he is gay.
Eric Jones had long been an active member of the Boy Scouts and most recently was employed at the organization's annual summer camp in Missouri. Taking to heart the core principles that dictate a scout is "trustworthy and loyal," Jones said he decided to tell the camp director that he is gay. And he caught the leader's reaction on video.
The director, whose face and voice are obscured in the footage below, had a strong, if not wholly unexpected, reaction. The director laments being forced to remove Jones from the program, saying, "I really wish you hadn't done that." The director claims Jones' "lifestyle" isn't a problem for him personally, and so the blame for being kicked out is placed squarely on Jones for having divulged it.
The video, shared exclusively with The Advocate, is part of a larger documentary from filmmaker Ryan James Yezak, titled Second Class Citizens. The film is still in production, and Yezak is seeking funds to complete the documentary and begin screening it — those interested can donate to his campaign here.
Watch video of the coming out moment below.
Watch the moving trailer for Second Class Citizens on the following page.
Yezak was inspired to shoot Second Class Citizens as a way to bring attention to the myriad ways LGBT people are still less than free and less than equal in modern American society.
"I chose to pursue this documentary because I experienced the feeling of discrimination based on sexual orientation, not only against myself but against everyone in our community," says Yezak. "I saw the common thread of discrimination, where it was coming from, and how we were getting rid of it and so I set out to tie together the bigger picture in the form of a documentary."
Watch the trailer below, and find more details on the film here.