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A little bit of self-promotion

Thank you to my friends in New York for sharing this article with me, published locally…

Celebrating John May: A Trailblazer for LGBTQI+ Inclusion in Scouting

The world of Scouting, often associated with outdoor adventures and community service, is also a space where values of inclusivity and diversity are nurtured. Among the champions of these values is John May, whose tenure as the Vice Chair of the World Scout Committee was marked by a profound commitment to LGBTQI+ inclusion.

A Pioneering Advocate

John May’s journey with the Scout Movement is a testament to his dedication to fostering an environment where every young person can feel accepted and valued. His involvement with Scouting began when he was at school, but it was during his leadership roles that he made significant strides towards inclusivity. He was one of the author’s of the UK Scouts’ first equal opportunities policies, As Vice Chair of the World Scout Committee, May was instrumental in promoting policies and practices that welcomed LGBTQI+ individuals into the fold, challenging the status quo and setting a precedent for future leaders.

The 1990s: A Decade of Change

The 1990s were a pivotal decade for LGBTQI+ rights in the UK, characterized by both significant challenges and strides towards equality. During this time, John May was a vocal advocate for the inclusion of LGBTQI+ members within the Scout Movement. His efforts were not without resistance, as societal attitudes towards LGBTQI+ individuals were still evolving. Despite the challenges, May’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity helped to pave the way for a more accepting and diverse Scouting community.

Creating Safe Spaces

One of John May’s key contributions was his work in creating safe spaces for LGBTQI+ scouts and leaders. He understood that for the Scout Movement to truly embody its principles of equality and respect, it needed to actively support and protect its LGBTQI+ members. Through his advocacy, May helped to establish guidelines and support networks that ensured LGBTQI+ individuals could participate fully and openly in Scouting activities without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Legacy and Impact

The impact of John May’s work is evident in the ongoing efforts towards inclusivity within the Scout Movement today. His legacy is reflected in the policies that continue to support LGBTQI+ members, as well as in the broader culture of acceptance that has taken root within Scouting. May’s dedication to these principles has inspired countless others to advocate for equality and to work towards creating a more inclusive world.

Celebrating Diversity

John May’s commitment to LGBTQI+ inclusion is a reminder of the importance of celebrating diversity in all its forms. His leadership within the World Scout Committee exemplifies the positive change that can be achieved when individuals are willing to stand up for what is right. As we reflect on his contributions, we are reminded that the values of respect, equality, and inclusivity are integral to the spirit of Scouting.

Moving Forward

As we continue to strive for a more inclusive society, the lessons from John May’s tenure are more relevant than ever. His work within the Scout Movement serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action for all of us to embrace and celebrate diversity. By following in his footsteps, we can ensure that the principles of equality and respect are upheld, and that the Scout Movement remains a welcoming space for everyone.

In celebrating John May, we honor not only his achievements but also the ongoing journey towards a more inclusive and accepting world. His legacy within the Scout Movement is a powerful reminder that true leadership is about fostering an environment where every individual is free to be themselves and to thrive.

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