Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-09-17
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets
Jim Darby is starting to feel better about his grave. Morbid as ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Former Scout on coming out
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-02-20

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Before the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ban on gay scouts ever became a thing of headlines, Christopher Pries was leading hikes in New Mexico, problem solving with other scouts. Pries, an out gay Chicagoan, became an Eagle Scout in the late '80s. Today he feels that Scouts gave him the confidence to be himself, part of what made it easier for him to come out later.

Windy City Times caught up with Pries to talk about his scouting days and his thoughts on BSA ban on gay scouts. Pries is a volunteer and supporter of numerous LGBT groups, including Lambda Legal. He also served on the board of Gay Games VII in Chicago.

Windy City Times: How long ago were you in the Scouts?

Christopher Pries: I earned my Eagle Scout in '88 or '89. It was before I was out.

WCT: Did you know that you were gay when you were a Boy Scout?

Christopher Pries: I was growing up in Texas in a strictly religious household, so I would say that, yes I knew. But I didn't really fully understand. I didn't know other gay people. It was a different time and place.

WCT: When were you were a Boy Scout, how significant was that ban? Was it something that everyone knew about or was it in the background?

Christopher Pries: When I was a scout, it was never an issue. We never talked about it, at least when I was active in scouting.

WCT: You have said that scouting gave you courage to come out. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Christopher Pries: I think that the skills and qualities that scouting helps to develop in individuals that are involved in the organization provide confidence in your ability to be a success, to be a leader regardless of the circumstances that you may be presented. One of that last things that I did was I was involved in scouting was I led an expedition of a troop of scouts on a high adventure trip. It was a 50-mile hike, over a period of about five days in New Mexico. It was opportunities like that that helped me to build my confidence as an individual, being able to overcome challenges.

WCT: And you were involved with the Scouts later in life.

Christopher Pries: I got involved with NESA, the National Eagle Scout Association. They have a local chapter. When I went to the first meeting, I ran into a couple of gentlemen that were friends of mine that I didn't even know were Eagle Scouts that were also at that meeting who were LGBT. All of us kind of opted to not get involved particularly because of discrimination. We felt like we couldn't really openly and honestly be involved in the organization given the situation.

WCT: What was your reaction when the Boy Scouts came out and said, were going to reconsider this policy?

Christopher Pries: I was thrilled that they were going to reconsider it. I think that the Boy Scouts offer an amazing opportunity for young boys to develop leadership skills at a young age that they carry through their lives. Also it's an opportunity to be part of an organization of which the alumni are a very powerful force. I still have "Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout" on my resume. And almost every interview I go into, I get feedback that it is looked at as being a designation that has a great amount of respect. I don't think that people should be denied the opportunity to earn that and to be a part of an organization and develop those leadership skills.

WCT: How did you feel about the delay of a decision on the ban?

Christopher Pries: I was disappointed but I've been a part of large organizations long enough that I understand that sometimes, you have to take a little bit more time to really seriously consider what the consequence is going to be. … Frankly, the Boy Scouts have a lot of constituents. If there is an opportunity to bring all the constituencies together to achieve some kind of consensus about the way forward, I kind of think that it's okay to take that time.

WCT: What would you advise people to do if they want to encourage Boy Scouts to lift the ban?

Christopher Pries: I think it's our responsibility to let the leadership that we know and are in contact with know that there are positive role models out there. There are successful individuals that are gay that have been involved with scouting that continue to have an impact, and that it would be beneficial for the scouting organization to have them involved.

I have some concerns about letting each of the local organizations decide; I don't feel that's fully embracing, but maybe that's the first step.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

D'Emilio symposium examines state and future of his field 2014-09-17
D'Emilio's work honored at UIC symposium 2014-09-17
Gay in the Life: Joe Lucarelli 2014-09-17
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage 2014-09-17
Trans* woman claims self-defense in case 2014-09-17
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Chicago House mark 25 years 2014-09-16
Fifteen groups ask for special U.S. envoy for LGBT rights 2014-09-16
U.S. grants asylum for LGBTI activist John Abdallah Wambere 2014-09-16
American anti-LGBT groups promoting bigotry abroad 2014-09-15
George meets with Inverness gay man after firing 2014-09-10
DOMA cartoon wins prize; Chick-fil-A founder dies 2014-09-09
The Gambia passes new anti-LGBT legislation 2014-09-09
Man fired from church job prepares to meet with George 2014-09-05
Mariano's employee claims he was fired for being gay 2014-09-03
Gay in the Life: David Friedland 2014-09-03
Gay Chicagoan launching 'gender-liberated' undergarments 2014-09-03
Trans woman, others allege bias at Lakeview diner 2014-09-02
Judy Shepard speaks of new anti-hate initiatives at Center 2014-08-29
Financial advisor Joe Della Monica works for LGBTQ clients 2014-08-28
Family violence may have led to 8-year old's death 2014-08-28
Hate crime summit Oct. 20 in Chicago 2014-08-27
Boykin discusses Ferguson visit and racism issues 2014-08-24
Detroit police investigate anti-trans hate crimes 2014-08-21
Out Chicago rabbi heads to Israel for advanced studying 2014-08-20
Gay in the Life: Richard Biasi 2014-08-20
John Barrowman talks 'Torchwood,' 'Arrow' and marriage equality 2014-08-17
Traffic stop data shows persistent patterns of racial bias 2014-08-14
Gay in the Life: Paige ManWaring 2014-08-13
Wheaton among LGBT-unfriendliest schools 2014-08-13
NCAVP responds to hate violence homicide of Juan Ceballos 2014-08-08
Trian Alexander aims to promote trans* visibility 2014-08-06
Gay in the Life: George Titterton 2014-08-06
Caryn Berman reflects on her life of activism 2014-08-06
World news: South African murder; police apologize for raid 2014-08-05
Obama urged to reconsider pacts; a killing in Crimea 2014-07-30
Gay in the Life: Rick Aguilar 2014-07-30
Rob Ford says he's not anti-gay; Glee trouble in UK 2014-07-22
John D'Emilio: Renowned professor, historian retires 2014-07-22
Meiling Jin on growing up in China, celebrity, LGBT journalism 2014-07-22
Bipartisan International Human Rights Act in the House 2014-07-16





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck
 
Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
 
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame selects next inductees
 
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Ryan Czerwonko's 'Dead' reckoning
 
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.