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SAFE at School: A Note from C.

safe at school Aug 09, 2022

When Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” back in March, my heart dropped and I felt ill. Although not a parent, nor a resident of Florida, I am a proud “Titi” to my sister’s four children who range from age 3-11 and they all live in Florida. I also volunteer with LGBTQ+ youth in the state of North Carolina, where similar bills have been proposed. 

Last October, my sister showed me a letter sent home to parents discussing how some of the textbooks in a 5th-grade class needed to be replaced for violating the Florida Department of Education’s new requirements around Critical Race Theory. I witnessed firsthand how quickly the ban on Critical Race Theory went into full effect in my twin nephew’s schools and was appalled. As a nonbinary/transmasculine person with close friends who identify in the BIPOC community, and LGBTQ+, I was scared to know what my nephews and nieces would be taught in their foundational education...

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Meet the Producers of Leaders for Inclusive Change

The Pride and Joy Foundation is very excited to introduce you to our recipients of the Leaders for Inclusive Change Grant, which was generously funded by the Gamma Mu Foundation. This six-week course will provide information, tools, and resources for anyone who wants to start a Gay Straight Alliance, Rainbow or other Diversity clubs at schools. 

After reviewing an exciting round of incredible applicants, the decision was not easy. Our Board of Directors has selected two LGBTQ+ educators, Ær Queen (they/them,fen/fens) and Nicholas Prosini (they/them), as facilitators of Leaders for Inclusive Change.  Ær (they/them,fen/fens) is a trans non-binary General Music teacher at Bradock Elementary School in Annandale, Virginia in Fairfax County Public Schools. They are a proud alumnx of Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia where they earned their Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Ær met Nicholas Prosini through...

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Guest Blog Op-Ed: Abuse, Abortions and Autonomy

**Trigger Warning: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual assault, abortions, child abuse**

A Utah GOP State Representative named Karianne Lisonbee made an awkwardly worded rebuttal to a text she received in late June. The text informed Lisonbee – who is in the “it should be illegal for practitioners to perform abortions except in cases of threats to health or rape/incest” camp (pay attention to this wording, it will matter again later) – she should control men’s ejaculations rather than women’s pregnancies. Her response was outrageously awkward as she confidently announced she trusted women to control their “intake of semen.” A comment that brings to mind Missouri Republican former state Representative Todd Akin’s “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” That whole thing being rape.

While the internet went bonkers over how on its sound byte face it seemed Representative Lisonbee’s...

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Reclaim Your Peace and Joy with Color Me Queer

Coloring has this powerful ability to bring a sort of easy happiness to its artist. It demands only stressless concentration, making coloring both tranquil and simple yet, somehow, never monotonous. As pencil, marker, or crayon fills up empty space with bright, vibrant bursts of color, blank paper is transformed into the types of rainbows many of us haven’t seen since our childhood. Coloring offers a deeply nostalgic and welcome escape from the growing pains of adolescence and the headaches of adulthood. It’s for all of these simple pleasures that Pride and Joy Publishing is proud to release its first-ever adult meditative coloring book: “Color Me Queer.” 


Featuring thirty-three unique mid-century modern designs, “Color Me Queer” invites us to relax and reflect on the strength and solidarity within the LGBTQ+ community through quotes by Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, Audre Lorde, and many more timeless Queer icons. It’s the...

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Your Guide to Queer Pride

lgbtq+ pride Jun 13, 2022

Happy Pride month! Whether this is your first pride or your bazillionth plus one, we’ve got you covered for all things queer all month long. 

To begin, check out one of Pride and Joy’s Instagram followers, to_all_the_latter_day_gays. They posted daily suggestions for how to celebrate Pride. Although we are nearing the mid of Pride month, you can still join the fun! Click here to see some of their ideas on small things you can do to celebrate all month long.

Another great way to get plugged into your local queer scenes is to find your local gay chamber of commerce. Check out their website, and you can easily search by state and province to find the closest local gay chamber of commerce near you. 

Some of you may live in cities that have Pride parades and festivals in the month of June. Make sure to check your local pride festivities and be sure to stay hydrated in the hot sun of summer! If you are celebrating at a Pride festival this summer, let us know and tag...

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The Path for the Next Generation of LGBTQ+ Professionals

As the next generation of workers identifies as LGBT+ at a percentage much higher than any generation before, it’s important to look at the state of the work environment and how we can safely fit into it.

Younger generations of workers are demanding change, human decency, and respect. It’s one of the driving forces behind The Great Resignation, a phenomenon we’ve seen develop since the beginning of the pandemic, in which droves of workers quit their jobs to find better conditions elsewhere.   

With Generation Z and younger millennials talking more and more about mental health issues and identifying more and more as LGBT+, discussing the state of work environments for LGBT+ professionals and professionals with physical and mental differences is key to our communities’ long-term success. 

 

Change will not come easy, and it never has in the past, when it comes to human rights and changes in work culture. 

 

We can’t...

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Gender Queer: Elena Joy's Perspective

I run Pride and Joy Publishing and for months I’ve been hearing about this breakthrough novel in the LGBTQ+ community, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (e/em/eir). I was told it was “first of its kind” as one of the first graphic novels that was also a memoir. (another great one is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel). I was told it was a physical experience to read and that once I had, I’d never forget it.  

The leader of an LGBTQ+ networking group I belong to asked me to lead a book club discussion and I chose Gender Queer.  I decided to pick Gender Queer for the discussion as I figured the accountability would make sure it got read. Having made a very public commitment, I ordered the book. Within the first weekend I could, I sat down to read.  

By page 31, (when Maia got eir period for the first time) I was shaking. Crying by page 48 when 13-year-old Maia walks into eir school’s diversity club for the first time. The story on page 103 had...

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Suicide Hotline Number - 988

Uncategorized May 04, 2022
 

**Trigger Warning: Suicide**

Beginning on July 16, 2022, The National Suicide Prevention Hotline will now have an emergency crisis number. In addition to their hotline, you will soon be able to dial 988 for crisis assistance. 

 

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in America for people of all ages. The World Health Organization lists suicide as the 4th leading cause of death among 15-19-year-olds. According to the Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. The 2021 national mental health survey mentions increased numbers in trans and nonbinary youth. This is serious and requires an urgent call to action. With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the rise, and increased isolation during the COVID pandemic, mental health support is critical now more than ever. 

 

Suicide ideation and attempts can impact anyone at any time for a variety of factors, and it’s important to educate yourself and be...

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A Letter from Z's Mom

 

Here at Pride and Joy Foundation, we recently found an incredible trans poet in 11-year-old, Z.W.* from Colorado.  We have published his poem here.

 Since so many in our audience are parents of kids just like Z, we wanted to share some thoughts from his Mom.


I am the parent of an AFAB (assigned female at birth) wonderful human. Z’s Journey has also been my journey. He has tried on multiple names and is continuing to get to know who he is. In the beginning of our journey I felt lost and struggled daily, but now, two years in, I have realized that for me to join him in his being lost does not benefit either of us.

In the beginning, I thought I needed to understand everything that Z was going through. I wish someone had told me when we first started down this path that it is not my job to figure it out for him, just to love and support him while he figures it out for himself. It would have saved me many hours of emotionally draining sits, filled with gut-wrenching...

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Gender by ZW

 

My gender is something

Something so perfect

Like a sphere of black goo

Floating in space

 

A concept so void

No human could understand

Not even me

No, not even me

 

Are you a boy? A girl?

I always say a boy

That is true

In a way

 

I like being a boy

I love being treated as one

Called one

But..

 

That's not all.

A bit of girl

Just a bit

But there's more

 

It's agile as a cat

Joyful like the sun

Shy as the moon

Loud as a puppy

but still quiet as a mouse

 

It wears flowy dresses and skirts

eyeliner and lipstick

when someone says

"Girl!"

it shakes its head

 

It isn't a girl,

but it doesn't mind being called one.

But don't call it they.

It isn't a they.

 

It is bright colors

it's lying under a warm blanket

on a snowy afternoon

it's jumping into the pool

on a hot summers day

 

It's loyal as a dog

and kind as a deer

Sometimes it's loud

or too quiet to hear

 

Every time it's put in a box

it never quite works.

Girl, boy, neither,...

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