19-year-old Garrett Bryant was denied employment from the Boy Scouts. (x)
19-year-old college freshman Garrett Bryant was involuntarily outed via Facebook and denied employment from the Boy Scouts of America. Bryant, who won the coveted Eagle award, was denied due to the current policy that, while gay youth is welcome, gay adults are not.
Bryant was in line to be hired for the second summer in a row at the BSA’s Camp Geronimo, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. Last month, after meeting his first boyfriend, Bryant changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship.” This prompted many friends to leave congratulatory comments like, “Oh, good for you, man, what’s his name?’” Bryant quickly deleted the comments, which were left overnight while he slept, but the damage was already done. He was Facebook friends with people in Scouting, who he was still closeted to.
One week after the Facebook post, Bryant was told by a camp leader that his job offer wouldn’t be extended because of social media posts that suggested he engaged in “homosexuality.” “I viewed my sexuality as something I was going to keep private. It was my private life. I wasn’t going to share it with the BSA,” Bryant told NBC. “They made an issue of my sexuality. I was perfectly content with staying in the closet with the Scouts.” The rejection has been difficult for Bryant. “It’s like you’re a part of a family and you’re being disowned from it.”
Despite the dismissal, Bryant isn’t giving up the fight. Bryant and his mother have started a new branch of Scouts For Equality. “I was fully willing to keep my sexuality hidden from the BSA to stay involved,” he said. “They wanted to make this an issue. Now, because of that, I will continue to make it an issue.”