Eastern Iowa transgender boy not allowed take part in Boys State

Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 9:20 PM CDT
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Emmet Cummings isn’t allowed to be part of the American Legion program, Boys State.

Cummings was born a female and is transitioning into a male. He was accepted into the program last fall. He says he wanted to go to the week long camp, since he first heard about it.

“I have loved government since I was a small child and when my mom told me about Boys State I wanted to go so badly."

So back in September, the Center Point-Urbana High School junior sent out an application.

After an interview with the local American Legion Post, Emmet received the good news he was selected as the chapter nominee.

"Our local American Legion Post has done everything they can."

But Emmet didn't received that same support at the state level. The board denied his application to Boys State.

A member of the statewide chapter of the American Legion tells TV9 the board decided to stick with its original policy. And that doesn't allow transgender boys.

"We have as a family we know not everyone is going to understand the situation Emmet is in. but all were asking for is him to being treated fairly and given the same opportunities as any young man are being given,” Halane Cummings said.

That announcement came even after the family took a trip to Camp Dodge, where the program is held each year. The family says they were asked to review the site's facilities.

"Really they just had us look at the bunk house and the shower room."

Emmet, who's been transitioning for three years, says he wanted to be a part of the program to further his interest in state government. He hopes the American Legion will change its policy, in future years.

“So no other transgender individual will have to go through the humiliation I went through and will be denied doing something that I love."