Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: children

Building a More Inclusive Boy Scouts

Joining the Boy Scouts of America can be a tricky thing for someone who identifies as anything other than cisgender and heterosexual, and despite recent changes to their membership requirements, the BSA is still wrangling with conflicting factions within its own organization. Now, some scouts are trying to build a more inclusive organization at the ground level. In 2013, the BSA made national headlines when they openly debated changing membership requirements to allow scouts to join regardless of their sexual orientation. As a compromise measure, the BSA still excluded hiring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer leaders until last July, when the executive council passed a new guideline stating that scout troops may hire whomever they wish to fill leadership roles. However, troops chartered by a religious organization may still… Read more »

Why Kids, and Adults, Need Diverse Books

I have a confession: Even now in my twenties, I still almost exclusively read young adult fiction. The “Percy Jackson” series? My jam. “Hunger Games”? Yeah, tell me more. “Harry Potter”—gimme. I’m currently in the middle of my annual “Harry Potter” re-read. This time around, I noticed something weird, something that’s been nagging me for a while. In a book series where magic is the norm, you mean to tell me that the main characters are all white? And all cisgender? And all able-bodied? And all—who are explicitly in relationships, at least—straight? It just doesn’t seem very likely. And then I thought about it. In most of the young adult novels that I have read, all of the main characters look and identify the same way. Even in fantasy or… Read more »