Gay Boy Scout Ryan Andresen Shares His Story on Ellen
Recently, 18-year-old Boy Scout Ryan Andresen made headlines when he was denied the organization’s top honor, Eagle Scout, simply because he is gay. Even though Ryan has fulfilled all of the requirements, is a top student, and cares deeply about his community, his sexual orientation has resulted in rejection by the Boy Scouts.
Ryan joined Ellen to share his story. Ryan has been a Boy Scout since he was six years old, and he loves being a part of the organization. He loves the outdoors, nature, and all of the great experiences he’s had as a Boy Scout, including traveling to Alaska and Canada.
Ellen: Boy Scout Vs Eagle Scout
Becoming an Eagle Scout is the top honor for a Boy Scout. For Ryan, becoming an Eagle Scout has “been a lifelong dream.” He’s received his 21 merit badges, and also completed his final leadership project. For his project, he chose to create a tolerance wall to fight bullying at his local middle school. The final step is to officially become an Eagle Scout.
However, the Boy Scouts are still denying Ryan what is rightfully his. Ryan said that everyone already knew that he was gay, including his Scout Master. His Scout Master told him that it wouldn’t stand in the way of receiving his Eagle Scout badge, and Ryan believed him; unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Hear more of Ryan’s story in the video below.
Ellen: Eagle Scout Protest For Ryan Andresen
When her son was rejected by the Boy Scouts, Ryan’s mom formed an online petition to gain support. Ryan said that he is “so blessed” to have a mom like his. Within one hour, his petition had received almost 400,000 signatures from people all over the nation.
And the support doesn’t stop there. Ryan has received offers from Boy Scouts all across the country who wish to give their own Eagle Scout pins to him. Another gay Boy Scout, Matthew Kimble (who only received his award because, at the time, he was in the closet) has sponsored 170 pledges for other Boy Scouts to send their awards to Ryan. Additionally, fifty of those pledges have come from Ryan’s own troop.
Sign Ryan Andresen’s Eagle Scout Petition
Ryan explained that by sharing his story, he hopes to make people understand that discrimination is not okay. He has put in the same amount of work and is just as devoted as any other Boy Scout, so he should not be punished simply for being himself. He still loves and supports the Boy Scouts organization, but just hopes that they can promote fairness.
And while Ellen can’t give Ryan his Eagle Scout award, she and Shutterfly did give him a $20,000 check to use towards college. You can sign Ryan’s petition, too. Ryan seems like a really great kid, and I hope that he gets the recognition he deserves.