Transgender PFLAG teen is among the first female Scouts to attain Eagle rank
AUSTIN, TX – Last week, KXAN captured the moment when local teen and longtime PFLAGer Beatrix Jackman was surprised by Charles Mead of the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, with her Eagle Scout award and regalia. The teen had passed her board of review on Oct. 1 to become one of the inaugural female Eagle Scouts. Having been active with PFLAG since she came out as transgender, Jackman focused her service project on supporting PFLAG Austin by sourcing, creating, and distributing self-care kits.
“It was important to do this project for PFLAG because they helped save my life and assisted my mom in becoming the supportive ally she is today,” said Jackman in a letter included with each kit.
For her service project, Jackman reached out to local businesses, organizations, and individuals to collect donations of goods and financial contributions to create self-care kits. The kits were distributed to LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies at PFLAG Austin support meetings, at LGBTQ+ youth center OutYouth, and directly to LGBTQ+ youth in the community. Funds in excess of the service project were donated to PFLAG Austin.
“We are very proud to have been a part of Ms. Jackman's journey and we are happy to have assisted her in her challenge of becoming one of the first female Eagle Scouts,” said Anna Nguyen, President of PFLAG Austin. “When Beatrix first came out, she and her mom came to our support groups. As with many other families with a newly out transgender child, they found a supportive, empowering, comforting environment in our support groups, as well as useful information and beneficial anecdotes from other parents and others in the queer community. Now, through her Eagle project, she has given back to help others feel supported, too.”
“It made me so happy that Beatrix chose this organization for her Eagle project because PFLAG Austin is family. This was one place I could go monthly with no judgement and share stories, receive useful information and above all, empathy from all,” said the Eagle Scout’s mother Julie Ziegelman. “Beatrix has been a Scout most of her life. It was pretty devastating for her to leave Scouting in 2015 when she began her transition. Working with the Boy Scouts to give her a path to completion as her true self is something our family is so proud of.”
PFLAG National Executive Director Brian K. Bond learned of Jackman’s accomplishment saying, "Community service is core to the mission of Scouting, and for years PFLAG has advocated for LGBTQ+ youth to be included in that mission. We are very proud of Beatrix and all the transgender and LGBTQ+ Scouts who demonstrate that a leader is a person whose skills and passion, inclusive of their sexual orientation and gender identity, are driven to serve."
As Jackman, a member of Scouts BSA Troop 2019, explains in the letter included with each kit, “The goal of this project was not just to give you a kit with random items for self-soothing, but to give you ideas of things you could put in the kit so if you are having a problem, you will have access to items that can help you immediately. My hope is that the lessons I learned through my struggles will help you too.”
Through her project, Jackman assembled self-soothing kits packed with items to help a person become calmer in times of stress, including things like bath bombs and bubbles, lip gloss and balm, journals and pens, essential oils, perfume, blowing bubbles, fidget toys, coloring books, candles, chewing gum, hot chocolate, and more. Starbucks, Sephora, Lush, NXP Semiconductors, BookPeople, and Capital City Men’s Chorus contributed to the kits. Jackman also conducted drives at McCallum High School and the Gender and Sexuality Center at UT Austin to support the project.
Jackman’s accomplishment will be celebrated at a Court of Honor in the next month by her troop. She will be recognized with the other young women who join the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts on Feb, 8, 2021 by the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. She has also received recognition from the City of Austin’s LGBTQ+ Quality of Life Commission, State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (District 49), and PFLAG Austin.