Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



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

This article shared 753 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 753 times since Sat Jul 23, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Haven Chicago presenting first-ever Festival Au Cinema on Aug. 26-28
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 8, 2022) — Haven Chicago is pleased to present its first annual Festival au Cinéma, the company's new platform for visionary and innovative filmmakers and media artists staking their claim in the future of ...

Gay News

Kinsey Institute exhibiting iconic Tom Fox HIV/AIDS photo series
An exhibition of 60 iconic photographs documenting Indiana University alumnus Tom Fox's battle with AIDS in the late 1980s will hang in the Grand Hall of Maxwell Hall on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus. "Wild Horse Running: ...

Gay News

Sexual-misconduct report findings force Chicago charter-school leader to leave
A Chicago Public Schools inspector general's report substantiating allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student forced Tim King, the head of a prominent charter school network, to resign recently, WBEZ reported. King, who founded Urban ...

Gay News

ART Wrightwood 659 to show 'The First Homosexuals,' 'Michiko Itatani'
The Lincoln Park space Wrightwood 659, 659 W. Wrightwood Ave., will show two exhibits—"The First Homosexuals: Global Depictions of a New Identity, 1869-1930" and "Michiko Itatani: Celestial Stage"—on Fridays and ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15
Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...

Gay News

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries
A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted. A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district ...

Gay News

Chalk Howard Street outdoors for the first time since 2019 on Aug. 27
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (Aug. 1, 2022)—Chicago's only chalk art festival, Chalk Howard Street, announced its entertainment programming and vendors list, as it makes a full return outdoor and in person for the first time since 2019. National ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian activist dies, school report, Robin Roberts, Joe Rogan
Rita Addessa—a civil-rights activist and the first executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force (PLGTF, later the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force)—passed away July 9 at Penn Hospice in Philadelphia at age ...

Gay News

Lesbian fighter Amanda Nunes recaptures UFC title
On July 30, Amanda Nunes—a Brazilian lesbian who's considered one of the best mixed martial-arts fighters of all time—recaptured the UFC women's bantamweight title from Julianna Pena in a match in Dallas' American Airlines Center, ES ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+-inclusive 'All that Glows' running through Oct. 1
-- From a press release - Weinberg/Newton Gallery, a non-commercial gallery dedicated to promoting social- justice causes, is partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois to present All that Glows in the Dark of Democracy, July 29 — Oct. 1 ...

Gay News

Florida school districts sued over 'Don't Say Gay' law
Florida teens and their families, along with advocacy groups, have sued to block a law that restricts classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity, NBC News reported. The Parental Rights in Education law—dubbed the "Don't ...

Gay News

21st annual Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest taking place Aug. 19-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (July 26, 2022)—The popular Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (GAAF) announces complete music lineup for the three-day festival, headlined by Chicago rapper Psalm One, Rock n Roll band from New ...

Gay News

Trans artist to showcase woodworking on Aug. 13
Trans artist J. Emmett (he/they), of J. Emmett Studios, will open his private studio for the first time to show his custom woodworking, along with works from local ceramicist Krista Tyner (she/her), of TynerWorks. The "A ...

Gay News

MCA Chicago announces Chicago Performs, which focuses on contemporary, POC and queer artists
-- From a press release - CHICAGO— The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, with the support of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and Choose Chicago, announced the ...

Gay News

Another Chicago alderperson announces retirement
Chicago Ald. Michele Smith announced that she will leave office after 11 years, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Smith—whose 43rd Ward includes parts of Gold Coast, Lincoln Park and Old Town—announced that she will retire from her ...


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.