Transgender girls in the UK are being allowed to join the Girl Guides for the first time.The organisation, formed in 1910 as an alternative to the Boy Scouts, has always been a strictly a single-sex organisation until now, with former members including Emma Thompson, JK Rowling and Princess Margaret.
But the organisation has recently updated its guidelines
, making it more inclusive.
The guidelines state: "Girl guiding aims to support all girls and young women. This is understood in terms of the way a person self-identifies their gender identity – a person’s inner sense of self."
Chief executive Julie Bentley told the Metro
: "Girlguiding complies with the Equality Act 2010 which makes clear organisations providing single-gender services should treat people according to their acquired gender.
"We welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman."
The new rules apply to Rainbows (age 5-7), Brownies (7-10) and Guides (10-14).
As well as young people being able to join, transgender adult women are can become leaders, known as Brown Owls. Part of the new policy states that parents will not be informed if a trans adult is at their local group -- a move that hasn't gone down well with some.
Amanda Gracey, whose six-year-old daughter recently joined Rainbows, told the Mail Online
: "It’s shocking that if there is a man who believes he is a woman leading the group, it is forbidden that parents should be informed, even on residential trips.
"You might be in a situation with girls having to deal with menstruation going to a leader with no understanding at all. Every piece of safeguarding advice says you should provide separate sleeping and changing facilities for children of opposite sexes under the age of 18."
However a spokesperson for the organisation said it would be unlawful to out a trans member without their consent.