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New Year, New You? Nah

kathy kiger new year Jan 01, 2024

By Kathy Kiger

I hate New Year’s resolutions. 

I hate them because there is an underlying assumption that goes hand-in-hand with the determination to change things: There must be something wrong with me. From the time I was a little kid, I felt different, like I didn’t quite fit in. 

So by the time I was 8 years old, I was trying to be like my friends. I wanted to dress like them, talk like them, be short like them. There’s not much I could do about that when I shot up to 5’4” in the 4th grade. But I slouched all the same.

Now I understand what was different from my friends. It wasn’t my hair or my height. It was my queerness. But of course I didn’t know that at the time. So I started down a long path of self-improvement.

I’ve spent the majority of my 53 trips around the sun trying to fix myself. Be a better student, better musician, better writer, better teacher, better wife, better mom, better Christian…

I wanted to...

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Reclaiming Christmas for My Kids

By Kathy Kiger

My kids and I have spent decades adhering to the Christmas traditions I grew up with. My family has always done everything exactly the same. Every. Single. Year. 

Christmas Eve was always spent at my parents’ house. All four of my kids would sleep in the same tiny room — two of them on the floor. The adults would stay up well past midnight getting everything ready. Then we’d all get up at 6:30 am and begin our Christmas morning by reading the Christmas story out of the Bible.

My mom did her best to make everything magical. There were lots of decorations and candles and homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

But when it was time to open gifts, it felt like being in a fish bowl. Everyone watched everyone else. My brother and his wife always had plenty of money to buy their kids loads of expensive gifts — every movie, game, and electronic device they could possibly want. 

But after my divorce in 2010, money was always tight. So my...

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Halloween is Queer

Halloween is Queer

by C. Rizleris (reposted and updated from Oct. 2022 blog post)

Happy Halloween! I love to begin this post with my favorite poet, Nickole Brown, who posts this EVERY Halloween on her social media:

Halloween: the best holiday, if you ask me– it doesn’t insist upon wholeness that makes so many feel deficit and lonely; it rarely makes your family feel more broke (or broken) than it already is. Halloween doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad or what religion you are or not. So bring on the eyelashes and wigs and devil’s horns; take out the pancake makeup and fake blood and those ridiculous heels you thought you’d never wear again. The kids are squealing down the street with pillowcases full of free candy, the drag bars have lines around the corner, and for one night, everyones asking everyone else a pretty great question, 'so, who are you'?” - Nickole Brown's annual Halloween...

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Queer-ative Writing Series: "The Making of a Burial pt. 3"

Welcome to our Pride and Joy Queer-ative Writing Series where we provide a space to post our OUTWrite Authors and Keynote Queers grads creative writing. This aligns with our theme of YOUR Voice, YOUR Power and we are excited to share creative writing with the community. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to creative work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.

This week's post is by one of our OUTWrite Author 2022 grads, Lauren McMullan, who wrote a fragmented series in 4 parts. Here is the third part of "The Making of a Burial". 

You can read all series here:


The Making of a Burial pt. 3
by Lauren McMullan

Digging holes to accommodate a...

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Reclaiming My Power Through Speaking My Truth and Sharing My Story

 

The Pride and Joy Foundation provides a space for our community to write guest posts. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.

*Content warning: mention of sexual abuse and violence. 

Reclaiming My Power Through Speaking My Truth and Sharing My Story

by Sam Heinrich

We’ve all heard the phrase “The truth shall set you free.” The first time I felt the reality of these words was in my twenties. I had been a closeted boy since the time a cousin of mine explained what being gay meant. I was eleven. There were two things that were true at that moment. The first, I was gay. It was the first time I had a word to identify how I felt towards men. The second,...

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Queer-ative Writing Series: "The Making of a Burial pt. 2"

Welcome to our Pride and Joy Queer-ative Writing Series where we provide a space to post our OUTWrite Authors and Keynote Queers grads creative writing. This aligns with our theme of YOUR Voice, YOUR Power and we are excited to share creative writing with the community. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to creative work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.

This week's post is by one of our OUTWrite Author 2022 grads, Lauren McMullan, who wrote a fragmented series in 4 parts. Here is "The Making of a Burial pt. 2".


The Making of a Burial pt. 2
by Lauren McMullan

Compelled sense-making of the senseless were the first caves I discovered as starting points for my undermind. Taking emotions and understandings standard to simply...

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The Three Best and Worst Ways to Respond When Your Kid Comes Out to You

The Three Best and Worst Ways to Respond When Your Kid Comes Out to You

by Elena Joy

TLDR: download your Coming Out Responses Cheat Sheet

National Coming Out Day is coming up on October 11 and is often celebrated all week. October is also LGBTQ+ History Month. For many of us within the community, this is a celebratory time! We get to reflect on the joy we have found in coming out to ourselves and our loved ones, allowing us to live beautiful, authentic lives. 

If you have a child that has been trying to figure out how to come out to you, the most important person in their life,  National Coming Out Day might be the nudge they need to share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with you. 

If your kiddo is anything like mine, they told allllll of their friends and even social media, before they told me. Their Mother. Yeahhhh. Just kidding, it really is fine now. But at the time, I remember feeling pretty upset that I didn’t get to hear about it first....

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Queer-ative Writing Series: "The Making of a Burial pt. 1"

Welcome to our Pride and Joy Queer-ative Writing Series where we provide a space to post our OUTWrite Authors and Keynote Queers grads creative writing. This aligns with our theme of YOUR Voice, YOUR Power and we are excited to share creative writing with the community. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to creative work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.

This week's post is by one of our OUTWrite Author 2022 grads, Lauren McMullan, who wrote a fragmented series in 4 parts. Here is part 1 of "The Making of a Burial".


The Making of a Burial pt. 1
by Lauren McMullan

In 2016 the breaking of my faith shot me out from beneath the landmind - my mental earth - to a mind made of atmosphere - my mindsky. Free of the interconnected...

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Queer-ative Writing Series: "From Here: A Prologue" by Lauren McMullan

Welcome to our Pride and Joy Queer-ative Writing Series where we provide a space to post our OUTWrite Authors and Keynote Queers grads creative writing. This aligns with our theme of YOUR Voice, YOUR Power and we are excited to share creative writing with the community. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to creative work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.

This week's post is by one of our OUTWrite Author 2022 grads, Lauren McMullan, who wrote a series in 4 parts. Here is their prologue in a series of her four fragments. 


From Here: A Prologue
by Lauren McMullan

In my mindsky, I write. In these headclouds, I float. Watch storms come in that once rolled me in fear, and now watch lightning flashes and make them...

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A Conversation with Nicole Gress from Undead Voice

We are ONE WEEK away from our next Pride and Joy Parent Event: An Evening with Nicole Gress. This event will give affirming adults an opportunity to learn just how important voice is in mental health. They will be there to answer all your questions, share her story and we are sure her contagious energy will inspire conversations well beyond our event. 

We had a moment to sit down and chat more about Undead Voice and hear directly from Nicole for this week's blog post about some of the background of Undead Voice and why they started it as well as a dive into mental health for the trans and nonbinary community. Nicole also graciously shares resources you can come back to.

And for even more information about Undead Voice, Nicole's expertise, and some of their personal journey, don't forget we kicked off Season 3 of our podcast, Out of Queerisotiy with Nicole, so make sure to have a listen! 

 

What do you love most about the work you do at Undead Voice?

...

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