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 scouting.org 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?
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.