SAN DIEGO -
A Boy Scout counselor's "coming out" video message to his friends at a local scout camp has gone viral.
After a big breath, Derek Nance began the message he has been rehearsing for years. Nance, 25, is an Eagle Scout and long-time counselor at a summer camp in Santa Ysabel.
Weeks after he stepped down as program director to focus on his career, Nance made a 4-minute video.
"I've worked for 10 years at the Mataguay summer camp ... and I'm gay," Nance says in the video.
Nance, who lives in Reno, made the video to finally tell his scout friends about his sexuality.
"I have spent many years at camp writing this in my head. It was very emotional getting it out there," said Nance during an interview with 10News.
Nance posted the video in a Facebook group but one of his friends sent the link to a well-known gay advocate. One tweet from Dan Savage, a well-known gay rights advocate, and several days later, the video had more than 16,000 views on YouTube.
"Everyone in San Diego has been very supportive of my decision to do this," said Nance.
Nance said he waited until after he resigned as program director because he did not want a repeat of the recent scenario that led to a scout leader being fired in Northern California due to the Scout's ban on gay scout leaders.
He hopes to stay connected to the Scouts and help bring change through dialogue.
Unlike others who have come out, he does not plan to return his Eagle badge in protest.
While holding his Eagle award in his video, he says, "I'm keeping my Eagle because I'm damn proud of the work I did to earn it, and I hope to once again wear this badge with honor without hiding who I actually am... This uniform will proudly hang in my closet, waiting for things to get better."
In July, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed its long-standing policy that bans openly gay members and gay scout leaders.
The Boy Scouts did not respond to 10News' requests for a comment.