Announcing Morally Straight, the book!
My book will tell the full story of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the Boy Scouts. Coming soon to a bookshelf near you.
I’ve re-written this sentence more than few times, trying to be coy and clever about it, but I’ll just cut to the chase: Morally Straight is becoming a BOOK!
I am still in awe that I can even say that, so please forgive the all-caps hysterics. I have been working toward this moment for three years, and the process has truly tested my patience at every turn. What began as a little seed of an idea has been watered and nurtured by an incredibly generous cast of friends, mentors and confidants. Now it’s ready to grow and bloom into the most important work I have ever created.
Writing a book is a dream for any writer, but for me this feels like the culmination of my entire life’s work. As a journalist, yes, but also as a queer person whose identity is inextricably bound up in Scouting. As cliche as it sounds, I truly feel like I was born to tell this story.
So, the details: My book will tell the full story of the fight for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the Boy Scouts of America. It’s a story that takes place over nearly three decades, going back to the early court battles of Tim Curran and James Dale, to the present-day victories (and ongoing challenges) of LGBTQ+ inclusion. I’m telling this story through narrative nonfiction, a type of book that has always inspired and excited me.
My goal is to craft a deep, nuanced story that was overlooked in the constantly-shouting national news coverage of this issue. I want to dignify what I see as a crucial piece of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and do justice to the teenagers, parents, activists and anonymous Americans who made it all happen.
Most of this will be accomplished through original interviews and reporting with these folks, a lot of whom I’ve already interviewed. I’ll also be using a deep well of archival documents and video to enrich the story and fill gaps in memory. I still have a lot of work to do, though: In nonfiction book publishing, it’s typical for only a small portion of the book to be completed to secure the contract; the clock’s now ticking for me to finish it up!
There is one way you, my dear reader, can help: If you have a contact, a document, a video, a picture or even a thought that you think might help me tell this story, please reach out (you can reply directly to this email). I’ve been blown away so far by the unexpected things I’ve discovered, and I’m hungry to learn even more.
I’m hoping to keep up my publishing schedule for this newsletter even as I go into full-time book mode, but bear with me as I navigate the transition. As always, becoming a paid subscriber is a fantastic way to support this newsletter, and to keep me going while I finish the book. You can also give a one-time donation in my tip jar.
And finally, thank you, all of you, for sticking with me and reading every week. This community has given me so much confidence and motivation to make this book a reality. Thank you, thank you.