The Girl Scouts of Western Washington recently turned down a generous donation of $100,000. That might seem like a shocking amount of money to refuse, but the group had a surprisingly good reason.
According to Refinery 29, the person who donated the $100,000 specifically asked that the money not be used to support transgender Girl Scouts. As soon as the Girl Scouts of Western Washington learned that the massive donation came with a transphobic catch, they returned the money immediately.
Council CEO Megan Ferland spoke to the Seattle Met about the donation, which the girl scouts were originally extremely excited for.
“We were thrilled,” she said.
But then she saw the caveat, “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money,” said the letter that followed the donation.
Ferland was extremely saddened by the transphobic letter and ultimately decided to return the money as the donor asked.
“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” Megan said. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”
The identify of the donor has not been revealed to protect his or her privacy.
The Girl Scouts organization has always been very supportive of transgender people. The Western Washington troop released a statement about the difficult decision to refuse $100,000 for the sake of integrity and equality.
“Our vision at Girl Scouts of Western Washington is that EVERY girl in our region — regardless of her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or geographic location — is empowered to unleash her potential, build her future, and transform her world.”
But there’s good news. While the Girl Scouts will be out of $100,000, an Indiegogo campaign has been started to make up for the lost money, according to the Advocate. Thousands of internet users who are proud of the organization’s brave defense of trans people have banded together to raise the money that was lost. So far, they’ve shattered the $100,000 number and have raised a staggering $114,938 — and climbing!
The Gender Justice League, an organization that supports the rights of trans people, thanked the Girl Scouts for their decision.
“There’s a lot of violence and discrimination and prejudice against transgender people,” said executive director Danni Askini. “So even if people know they’re transgender, they don’t always transition because of that prejudice and bias and discrimination. So the thing about Girl Scouts that’s so vital to all girls is that it’s about creating community and ending isolation.”
For more on transgender people, read about the supermodel who recently came out as transgender.
[Image credit: Getty]