Maryland teen becomes first openly gay Boy Scout to earn Eagle rank

Pascal Tessier, 17, became the first-known openly gay Boy Scout to succesfully earn the prestigious rank of 'Eagle' on Monday night, following the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) new policy that allows gay youth to participate. That policy went into effect on January 1, 2014.

“It’s just really amazing, and it honestly hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Tessier told The Washington Post. "We didn’t know if it was going to happen at all.”

Sadly, however, Tessier will face expulsion from the Boy Scouts when he turns 18 later this year. While the Boy Scouts' new policy allows gay youth to participate, the group still bars the participation of LGBT adults.

GLAAD was instrumental in the Boy Scouts' decision to end its ban on gay youth, bringing the stories of openly LGBT Scouts, including Tessier, and Scout leaders to Americans across the nation.

"Without GLAAD, I would truly have been lost and not be able to make the impact I was able to," says Tessier. "Working with GLAAD, I was able to change the minds of the BSA in to accepting gay youth, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with them towards full inclusion in Scouting."

See more about GLAAD's work to end the Boy Scouts' ban on gay youth in the video below: