8-year-old New Jersey boy leads the way for transgender Boy Scouts

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Joe Maldonado is an 8-year-old transgender boy who led the way for scouts just like him at the 107-year-old organization. (WPVI)

A historic decision by the Boy Scouts of America has transgender rights supporters calling an 8-year-old boy a trailblazer.

Joe Maldonado is a transgender boy who led the way to Monday's decision allowing scouts just like him into the 107-year-old organization.

Maldonado and his parents filed a legal complaint after he was asked to leave his Cub Scout troop in New Jersey.

The family says other parents and leaders forced the 8-year-old boy out after they found out he was born a girl.

Now, the Boy Scouts of America have reversed course, ending its previous membership police that relied on the gender listed on a child's birth certificate for registration.

Officials at the organization now say any child identifying as a boy will be permitted to enroll as a scout.

Maldonado said he hopes he and other transgender scouts are accepted just the way they are.

"I want them to be comfortable with how I am, what my destiny is, and what my identity is," he said.

The decision by national Boy Scout leaders in only the latest in a string of new policies regarding gender identity and sexuality.
In 2013, the Boy Scouts paved the way for openly gay youth to join the organization.

Then, in 2015, the scouts ended a blanket ban on gay adults service as troop leaders and volunteers.

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