A transgender Girl Scout has taken a bad experience from a local bully and turned it into a positive experience, selling thousands of boxes of cookies after her story went viral, Buzzfeed is reporting.
Nine-year-old Stormi (her last name has not been disclosed, in order to protect her and her family’s privacy) is biologically male, but identifies as a girl. She lives with her family in Herrin, a southern Illinois town of about 12,000 people, and has been with the Girl Scouts since last fall.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) February 1, 2016
Back in January, Stormi and her foster mom, Kim (Stormi has been in foster care for the past three years), hit their neighborhood after school to sell cookies. They’d sold a few dozen when they got to one particular house, where the would-be customer was not at all interested in Stormi’s sales pitch.
“Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.”
Kim said that Stormi was so upset by the comment that she wanted to go home immediately, where she cried.
“She was like, ‘Why am I not good enough?’ We just started talking and she decided she wasn’t going to let him win.”
Kim and Stormi decided to stop going the traditional door-to-door route and instead sell Girl Scout Cookies online, through an online system that lets individual Girl Scouts sell their cookies to anyone who has the link. On Stormi’s cookie portal, she reveals her plans for the money she and her troop raises.
“My troop plans to use the money to help us go on trips. I have my own plans as well. At my request my family will donate boxes to local foster kids like me! Selling cookies is a lot of work. I have learned that even though people can be mean I shouldnt give up! selling cookies has helped me with my math as well!”
— Tobias Salinger (@TobySalKC) February 3, 2016
Kim posted her and Stormi’s story on an online forum for parents of transgender kids. Within a short time, her story had gone viral, and Stormi sold over three thousand boxes of Girl Scout cookies, getting orders from places as far away as Australia.
She also got notes of support from all over the world. A Ph.D. student in Virginia wrote that Stormi’s story is an inspiration to LGBTQ people who may be living in areas where their communities may not be accepting. A comedy group in New York offered free admission to anyone who had bought a box of Stormi’s cookies. A Los Angeles musical group promised to donate a box of Girl Scout Cookies for every ticket they sold, in honor of Stormi’s story.
Stormi’s story underscores the difficulty faced by the Girl Scouts of America as more and more young children are publicly coming to terms with their gender identity. Officially, according to the Christian Science Monitor, the Girl Scouts of America does not take a position on human sexuality, and lets individual troops handle transgender girls on a case-by-case basis.
Nevertheless, the matter of transgender girls participating in the Girl Scouts has not been without controversy. The Girl Scouts of Western Washington turned down a $100,000 donation because the donors specifically asked that the money not be used to “support transgender girls.” And in Louisiana, according to MSN, several Girl Scout troops disbanded after a troop in Colorado accepted a transgender girl.
For Stormi, those issues are matters for grown-ups to hash out. Stormi just wants her story to inspire kids who may be experiencing what she is going through.
“I want kids like me to know they are perfect just the way they are. There are people all over the world that love you. Never give up because it does get better.”
Do you think it’s okay for Girl Scout troops to accept members who are biologically male but identify as girls? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Sheila Fitzgerald]