Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Queer teen artist/activist talks Girl Scout Gold Award, LGBTQ+ inclusion, future plans
by Carrie Maxwell

This article shared 1178 times since Sat Jul 23, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

When Molly Kasch became a Brownie at age 8, she never dreamed she would earn the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award 10 years later for her "Scouting the Rainbow" project.

The award "is the highest achievement you can get in Girl Scouts," Kasch told Windy City Times. "It focuses on identifying a problem within your community or on a wider level and then creating a project that aims to, if not fix the solution, help mitigate the problem in any way that you can. A big part of the Gold Award is making sure that it is sustainable in some way."

At first the Franklin Park native joined a local troop of Brownies because her mother wanted her to interact with other children in the community and make more friends.

"Over time Girl Scouts became more important to me because there were a lot of opportunities for me to do community service," said Kasch. "It became a big part of me growing up and having access to resources that supported that growing up process outside of my home life."

Kasch chose to do her "Scouting the Rainbow" project because, as a queer person herself, she saw that there was a rising amount of ignorance and intolerance about LGBTQ+ people and their rights around the world, including in the United States, despite the progress that has been made. She cited the many anti-LGBTQ+ pieces of legislation being introduced and at times enacted into law in states across the country including Florida's Parental Rights Education Law otherwise known as the "Don't Say Gay" law. Her project is designed to counteract that bigotry through education about LGBTQ+ people and their history.

LGBTQ+ inclusivity is important to Kasch because, even before she came out, her Girl Scout troop was a supportive environment and she wants other queer and trans scouts to have that same kind of safety. Kasch said she is lucky to have an accepting family, scouting troop and school environment.

When asked what it feels like to earn this award, Kasch said it was a big accomplishment and very rewarding.

"It was also very validating to feel like my voice and concerns regarding a community that I have been heavily involved with since I was a child were heard," said Kasch. "This is very personal to me. The fact that the community heard me reminded me that even though sometimes things may look a little bit dark on the horizon, there are still people who care. Also, that they are willing to listen to concerns about LGBTQ+ rights and make an effort educate themselves and protect my community."

Kasch added that "Scouting the Rainbow" was well-received by her fellow scouts and she has achieved her initial goal for the project. She wants more scouts and other young people to have access to her work and is using social media to get the word out.

"I am hoping my troop leader and troop leaders who I have worked with before on other leadership projects will be willing to spread the word," said Kasch. "My desire is for it to be accessible for everyone and especially young LGBTQ+ scouts who do not have a supportive home and/or school life where their only safe space is the Girl Scouts."

Two people were instrumental in helping Kasch with her project: Franklin Pierce University instructor and author Dr. Margot Douaihy, who was her mentor advising her on the project's scope, research methods and actualization; and her Girl Scout troop leader, Sarah Reynolds.

According to Reynolds, fewer than 6 percent of eligible Senior/Ambassador Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards annually. Kasch was an Ambassador Girl Scout when she earned her award. Each Girl Scout who is vying for this award spends between one to two years on their project.

"I have known Molly since she was nine years old when she joined the multi-age Girl Scout troop I led," said Reynolds. "She was a great addition to the newly formed troop and had a great personality. All of the girls wanted to be her best friend. I looked forward to troop meetings and activities that Molly would attend because she set the tone with her bubbly personality. As Molly got older, that positive outlook never changed.

"When Molly mentioned that she wanted to do a senior journey, I knew this was a great opportunity for her to take it one step further and vie for a Gold Award. Even in the midst of COVID, Molly did not give up on her project. She was steadfast throughout the feedback process while also staying true to her vision. I am so excited to see Molly continue to blossom as a thriving individual who will affect positive change for LGBTQ+ people for many years to come."

"From the start, Molly had a crystal-clear vision for this project and its importance for the Girl Scouts," said Douaihy. "In 2022, we are experiencing an alarming amount of divisive rhetoric and regressive, anti-LGBTQ+ legislative actions. It seems that every other week, a new bill works its way through state and local governments to target and/or limit protections for transgender, nonbinary and queer people and families. Molly's 'Scouting the Rainbow' Gold Award is a crucial, vetted asset we can use to educate, communicate, strengthen alliances and build empathy for the humanity of the diverse LGBTQ+ community.

"I applaud organizations like the Girl Scouts for their dedication to inclusion, for helping all young people feel worthy of belonging. I am so proud of Molly's hard work and leadership. As she fights for a better future, Molly is a living example of the next generation's promise."

Kash, now 19, earned her award last summer and will be a Sophomore at Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she is majoring in comic arts and minoring in animation. Last fall, Kasch was involved in a ghost hunting club.

While Kasch was attending West Leyden High School in North Lake she was in cross country for her first two years and the Art and Clay Club. She was also a National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society recipient.

As for Kasch's career aspirations, she is looking to become a storyboard artist for an animation show. She also wants to be involved in the storytelling process to ensure that there is LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the media. Her favorite animation shows are Gravity Falls, Over the Garden Wall and She-Ra and the Princess of Power. Kasch said there are many great options for people looking for LGBTQ+ representation in the media and she wants to make sure that stays consistent and hopefully grows over time.

In terms of Kasch's message to fellow scouts and other young people, she said "while there are always going to be people who are unwilling to learn and show support for people different than them, there also will always be people who are willing to learn and change and be supportive in general. I think it is very important, especially in scouting, since such a large part of Girl Scouts is being a sister to every scout and showing basic human decency to the people around you. It is important to be the kind of person who is willing to be open and listen to people different than you and to educate yourself on issues that you might not be as versed in."

See, @scoutingtherainbow on Instagram, Scouting the Rainbow on Facebook and .

This article shared 1178 times since Sat Jul 23, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae
Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...

Gay News

MUSIC: Sophie B. Hawkins talks LGBTQ+ youth and living an authentic life
In the '90s, singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins made quite an impression on people with the entrancing song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and its accompanying video. She also had hits such as "Right Beside You" ...

Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...

Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pageant ruling, AOC, gay journalists, Dwyane Wade, trans activist
A federal appeals court ruled that the operator of the Miss United States of America pageant (not to be confused with the Miss USA pageant) can't be forced to allow openly transgender women into its competitions, ...

Gay News

Chicago Teachers Union: Lightfoot's CPS team must remove Jones HS principal, address racially hostile environment
-- From a Chicago Teachers Union press release - CHICAGO, Nov. 3, 2022 — The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement after learning of another incidence of intolerance at Jones College Prep High School, which has been dogged by complaints of antisemitism, racism and ...

Gay News

School of the Art Institute auction on Nov. 1-14, auction party on Nov. 11
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is inviting all art collectors and enthusiasts to an online auction taking place Nov. 1-14 on, where a diverse group of SAIC alums and faculty will ...

Gay News

Queer Art announces 2023 Queer Art Mentorship Fellow
-- From a press release - Queer|Art, NYC's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is pleased to announce the new Fellows for the 2023 Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) program cycle. The Mentorship program is ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride'
Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...

Gay News

Chicago mural of Kanye West painted over in wake of antisemitic remarks
A West Loop mural image of Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, was painted over on Oct. 27, as fallout continued over the Chicago native's recent controversial and antisemitic public statements, The Chicago-Sun Times ...

Gay News

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' to take place Dec. 22-24
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. The production will play for six performances on Dec. 22-24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells ...

Gay News

Ginsburg, Morrison, women's soccer to be honored with stamps
The U.S. Postal Service announced that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late author Toni Morrison (Beloved; The Bluest Eye) will be honored with new postage stamps next year. The sport of ...

Gay News

Florida Board of Education approves strict trans bathroom rule
On Oct. 19, the Florida Board of Education approved a strict rule preventing public and charter schools in the state from allowing trans+ youth to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Michigan bill, trans woman killed, school musical, Alabama drag queen
Michigan House Republicans recently introduced legislation that could have the potential to throw parents and doctors in prison for life for offering gender-affirming care to children under the age of 18, reported. Under House Bill ...

Gay News

Chicago Artists Coalition announces departure of executive director
Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) announced that Teresa Silva, CAC's executive and artistic director, will leave the organization on Wed., Oct. 26. CAC Board Chair J. Gibran Villalobos will serve as interim executive director during the executiv ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.