A nine-year-old New Jersey boy has become the first transgender kid to join the Boy Scouts.
Joe Maldonado was kicked out of the Cub Scout pack in Secaucus last year because he was assigned female at birth.
“I felt very upset but then very angry because it's just not fair that because I was born a girl they won't let me in,” Maldonado told CNN in December.
The incident sparked public controversy and put pressure on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change their policy. Last week, the organization finally did just that and announced they would no longer base membership by the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate, but by the gender the parents list on the child’s scout application.
Maldonado is now a member of Pack 20 in Maplewood and couldn’t be happier.
“I am accepted,” the nine-year-old said. “This is fun; I’m so proud.”
In response to Maldonado becoming the first transgender child to join, the BSA released a statement saying it “is pleased to welcome Joe and the Maldonado family back into the Scouting community. Moving forward, the BSA will continue to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.”
Watch the video above to hear more.