Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-08-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Together for 29 years, Hill and Jones leaving Chicago for Santa Fe 2015-08-26
In the Life: Kevin Lee 2015-08-26
National: Hillary; Texas hate crime; Trump; 18th trans murder 2015-08-25
In the Life: Rich Saucedo 2015-08-19
Trikone-Chicago: A safe haven for LGBTQ South Asians 2015-08-18
Designer Dolce apologizes for comment 2015-08-18
In the Life: Kelly Lauren 2015-08-12
Change.org signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-08-11
London-based twins give networking an LGBT twist 2015-08-11
McCarter introduces 'religious freedom' bill 2015-08-10
United Way of Chicago launches LGBT affinity group 2015-08-05
Company launches LGBT-focused greeting cards 2015-08-05
Cell-phone company plans to benefit the LGBT community 2015-08-05
W.W. Grainger earns perfect HRC CEI score right out of the gate 2015-08-04
Local 'Masterchef' talent on clothes, Creole roots 2015-08-04
Chicagoan launches wine-purification product 2015-07-31
AIA exec Zurich Esposito living out childhood dream 2015-07-29
Hobby baker starts United Nations of Sugar Art collaborative 2015-07-28
Obama makes pro-gay remarks in Kenya 2015-07-26
The new era of ALMA: Association of Latino/as Motivating Action 2015-07-22
HRC releases discrimination map 2015-07-22
In the Life: Britta Larson 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Whatever 2015-07-22
Leo Burnett counts diversity, inclusion as strongest assets 2015-07-21
Change.org signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-07-17
In the LIFE Cody Domino 2015-07-15
Man arrested for hate motivated violence resulting in death 2015-07-08
In the Life: Ashley Perrin 2015-07-01
Global homophobia report released 2015-07-01
Texas victim of a hate motivated violence dies 2015-06-30
IHRC orders $30,000 penalty from Fair Housing Violator 2015-06-25
Kyrgyzstan passes draft anti-LGBT propaganda bill worse than Russia's law 2015-06-24
Gay United Airlines pilots on their careers, life outside of work 2015-06-24
In the Life: Sage Celimene-Rowell 2015-06-24
BUSINESS Gay Chicagoan opens Wrigleyville hairstyling facility 2015-06-24
Event company aims to shatter stereotypes on Pride Weekend 2015-06-24
Video game represents LGBTQIA community 2015-06-23
Louis (LC) Johnson IV talks Currency jewelry, other endeavors 2015-06-23
Chicagoan is a proud Pezhead 2015-06-23
Boeing soars when it comes to diversity, inclusion effort 2015-06-23
 



Copyright © 2015 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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     
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.