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LGBTQ+ College Resources: Scholarships

School has already begun and the college application season is in full swing for seniors in high school. As a professional in higher education for over ten years, with my formative years in college admissions, I am here to help break down some elements the college application process entails.  Applying for college can be exciting, but can also bring a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around finances. Before getting scared of the sticker price on your favorite school, read on for some helpful information regarding paying for college and special scholarship information for LGBTQ+ students.

First things first though. In order to qualify for financial aid, all students will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA (good news, the government made it much easier than it was back in my day!) It is highly recommended to do this sooner than later so you can get your information to the schools you are applying for as soon as possible. *Side note: you...

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Join us on Twitch! - Fundraising Campaign

fundraiser twitch Sep 03, 2022

Our very first Twitch fundraiser (September 3-22) is underway and we are SO excited!  Three incredible streamers have offered to raise funds to support our efforts in covering the cost for teachers to take an Inclusive Leadership course, to empower them to hold safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students.

We would love to have you join us! And if it's not your thing, please please share. We are trying hard to support the teachers who support our LGBTQ+ kids at school all day and roll out the amazing work from our creators, Ær Queen (they/them,fen/fens) and Nicholas Prosini (they/them)

Below is the info for some of our streamers and more info on the other schedules will be added soon.  We would love to have you join us! 

Braelyn (she/her) 

Braelyn is a mental health advocate, community manager, public speaker, podcast host and streamer on Twitch TV. Her streams are usually fun chats or she plays games like Sims 4, Mario Kart, Fortnite, Fall Guys,...

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SAFE at School: Meet Mo Bailey

safe at school Aug 30, 2022

Making Your Home a Place Kids Want To Be

For many kiddos, the start of school is the perfect time to meet new students, expand their friend group, or connect more fully with their classmates. As a parent, it can be nerve-wracking to let our kiddo spend time in a new friend’s house. As a parent of an LGBTQ+ human, it can be terrifying. One of the best ways to ensure our kids and their LGBTQ+ friends are spending time in a safe environment is to open our home to them after school and on weekends. Being an ally is the first and most important step to creating a safe space for our kiddos. This guide focuses on the second most important thing: creating an inviting and awesome physical space. 

Co-create a space to hang out.

Kids these days are all about the aesthetics. They want to spend time in a space that feels really good to them, even if it wouldn’t be your design choice. Think of your kid as a partner in curating the space and give them some freedom to be...

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SAFE at School: Meet Josh Covington

safe at school Aug 23, 2022

 

Starting the School Year Off Right: A Guide for LGBTQ Students and Their Allies

For LGBTQ students and their allies, the start of the school year can be both daunting and exciting. There are new classes to take, new people to meet... and – for some students – a new locker room to get used to. For many LGBTQ students, this time of year can also be stressful, as they navigate what it means to be “out” at school and deal with potential discrimination or harassment. Luckily, there are things you can do to make the school year go a little bit smoother. This guide provides tips for both LGBTQ students and their allies on how to make the school year a positive experience. So read on, and let’s make this school year the best yet!

For LGBTQ+ Students:

  1. Find your people. Whether it’s joining the Gay-Straight Alliance, connecting with other out students, or simply making friends with someone who is supportive, it’s important to find your...
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SAFE at School: Meet Jennifer Boudrye

safe at school Aug 16, 2022

Create a Safe Space for YOU 

So You Can be a Safe Space for Your Child

Media messaging would have you believe that back-to-school is a time of jubilant celebration for parents. But for many, it is stressful, beyond hectic, and anxiety-producing. For parents of LGBTQ+ kiddos, there are unique concerns each new school year and the current political climate makes this year especially troubling for many. 

We know that one of our most important jobs as a parent is keeping our children safe - physically and emotionally. We strive to do everything in our power to ensure that they have the best possible opportunities for success (however we measure it). But as parents of LGBTQ+ children, we worry about whether school - the classroom, the bathroom, the locker room, the sports field, the cafeteria, etc. - will be safe spaces for our LGBTQ+ kiddos.  

We stay vigilant as school boards and local and state legislators debate our children's rights, perhaps even their existence. We...

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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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