Friday, February 8, 2013

Sometimes You've Got to Be Brave

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced they were considering an end to their ban on gay scouts and leaders.  Later, they delayed making a decision on the topic until their national meeting in May.

As a long time supporter of gay rights, (and actually LGBTQIA rights-a newer term inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersex and asexual people), this story caught my interest. Although controversial, It seems obvious to me that this antiquated policy should be put to rest.

After all, according to the Scout Law is:

A Scout is:

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,

Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent

When BSA teaches boys to be trustworthy and loyal, shouldn't those values apply to how they treat themselves? Shouldn't they be expected to be honest about who they are (or who their parents are) without fearing retribution from an organization that enforces those values?

See, there's another reason I am interested in this story.  In March, I will release the fourth book in The Soulkeepers Series which includes an important character who happens to be gay. When the plot line, which began in Weaving Destiny and continued through Return to Eden, came to fruition in an early draft of Soul Catcher, some people in my life warned me that the book could alienate a portion of my fan base. The world of the Soulkeepers is based on Christian mythology and, in fact, when I introduced Ethan in Return to Eden, I did get a few comments by readers who weren't happy I'd added a gay Soulkeeper even in a minor role.

I considered the feedback, considered changing the story as I had imagined it, or stopping the series after the third book, but in the end, I couldn't do it. The more I thought about Soul Catcher, the more I knew in my heart that the book wasn't about my character being gay, it was about my character being human. The Soulkeepers has always been about self-acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, redemption--human qualities that bubble to the surface when a diverse group of teens have to fight for their lives in the battle between good and evil.

Writing the story I envisioned took bravery.  I had to follow my heart. I had to be true to my art and to myself. But isn't that what LGBT teens have to do on a daily basis?

I sincerely hope BSA makes the inclusive choice. It might be easier to maintain the status quo but  doing what's right is rarely the same as doing what's easy.

Sometimes you've got to be brave.


G.P. Ching is the author of The Soulkeepers Series, The Grounded Trilogy, and a variety of short fiction. She specializes in cross-genre paranormal stories, loves old cemeteries, and enjoys a good ghost tour. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, a brittany spaniel named Riptide Jack, and a very demanding guinea pig. 


  1. I wasn't happy with their backpedaling, but, in the end, they're worried about funding since 70% of their organization is supported through private religious groups, most of those being Southern Baptist. I don't have confidence that they'll make the right decision.

  2. Good for you, Genevieve! I think we should always be true to our stories and tell them as they should be told. Bravery can be hard, but I think ultimately the one being put in that position finds making the right choice is always for the best~ :o) <3

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