Several major news outlets have reported that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may remove its ban on gay participants. The BSA includes Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venture Crews - and some LARPs (live action role playing games) function as Venture Crews. This status allows games to serve the community, reserve campgrounds and purchase insurance. How does this potential change affect LARPs that operate as Boy Scout Venture Crews?
Officially, the Boy Scouts prohibit individuals identifying as homosexual from participating as members and leaders. This includes gay parents who wish to become den leaders. Regulations would also prevent a gay individual from leading a Venture Crew (even if he or she is a LARP leader).
I have personally encountered potential LARPers who are hesitant to join Boy Scout-affiliated games due to the BSA's anti-gay stance. Additionally, I personally disagree with rules that prohibit equal treatment and dislike that games' campground rental money is going to an organization that opposes the inclusion of my non-straight friends. This removal of the ban would allow Venture Crew LARPs to be fully inclusive as most LARPs are and hope to become.
These potential changes could affect your LARP if:
- Your LARP functions as a Boy Scout Venture Crew.
- Your game uses Boy Scout campgrounds or facilities.
- The leadership of your organization is openly gay. If so, your game's leadership would be able to openly represent the Venture Crew.
Overall, such a change would allow more players to participate in LARP as a hobby. In a subculture already filled with people who have been made fun of for being different, it only makes sense to fully include as many people as possible. This could strengthen the relationship of LARP Venture Crews and the Boy Scouts, considering inclusion is more in line with the spirit of the scouting organization as well as individual games.
Presently, many LARPs are inclusive of all LARPers regardless of policy, though they cannot promote their inclusive atmosphere due to Boy Scout policies if they are operating as Venture Crews.
How do you feel about this possible change? Please sound off in the comment area below - and be sure to remain respectful towards your fellow LARPers!
Note: The opinions presented here are solely representative of the LARP Examiner and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or ideals of any games or organizations in which she is a member or participant.