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.
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...
**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 aware of...
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...
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
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
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,...
In February, Elena Joy Thurston was a guest on the Energy is Love Podcast hosted by spouses Steph and Craig. Their conversation was abundant in subject matter, but one main thread stood out among all of this: helpful information for surviving and thriving change and transformations in relationship dynamics, particularly around parent and child.
Change is hard. We are creatures of habit. Transformations are challenging, but so powerful. We are constantly witnessing transformations around us: Spring has arrived, caterpillars turn to butterflies, clouds pass us in the sky, taking their own shapes in fractions of time. It’s natural. So shouldn’t we be more intune when it happens in our own families and households? You would think.
Whether, like Elena mentioned in the interview, you are a parent coming out to your children, or a parent with a child coming out about their gender or sexuality, or even a parent dealing with a late teen/early...
I can’t help but think about the moment Kalyela “Coach K” Josephs saw the big rainbow sign that said, God Loves All, from our recent podcast episode on Out of Queeriosity. I know a lot of us can relate to the struggle of wondering if queer and god can coexist like Kalyela mentions in our Queer on Purpose podcast episode.
Perhaps you have seen it. The anti-LGBTQ+ protesters at Pride, holding signs with bold letters condemning any act of homosexuality to a life burning in hell. They scream at people draped in rainbow flags, and all the colors of gender, identity and sexuality. Telling us god doesn’t love gays. This is traumatic. Behaviors and experiences such as this are enough to drive one mad and spiral into self-hatred, especially to those of us who may have grown up in a church of some sort. Can you imagine the shame of thinking God hates you for who you are? I know I can. The struggle of wondering if God still loves you is real.
When did you know you were Queer, on purpose? I think the first time I realized it was the first time I hosted one of our ALP Workshops — standing for Ask.Listen.Plan. These are our Suicide Prevention and Awareness workshops for LGBTQ+ young adults in rural areas. We host them online, and frankly, I wondered if college kids would take time out of their lives to learn about suicide prevention?
But at that first workshop, over 30 students showed up! Many of them had struggled with suicidal ideation themselves, and just like me, didn’t want any of their friends and family to live on that edge like we had. There’s something about experiencing the darkness that makes you real proactive about staying in the light and keeping those you love in the light. Ego and stigma be damned.
What I wasn’t anticipating about those workshops is what it meant to those kids to get to know our facilitators. Most of the students we serve are in rural areas and have had...
Do you want to publish a nonfiction book? Perhaps you have a story to tell, or expertise in an area. Maybe you want to help others. You are not alone. Roughly 80% of people want to publish a book yet only 3% end up succeeding. Why do so many people not follow through? For starters, the task can be quite overwhelming. Writing a book, editing and getting it into the readers hands requires a lot of time and energy. Not to mention, the industry has changed and regardless of what publishing path you choose, you will need to find ways to help market your book. It is helpful to know that the traditional way of publishing isn’t the only way and we will share some secrets to the publishing process in this blog post.
When Elena Joy Thurston, founder of The Pride and Joy Foundation, had a TEDx Talk go viral in November of 2019, she had prominent literary agents inquire about a memoir by Jan 2020. It was exciting and she signed with one. She was told to get a book...
I’ve been thinking a lot about Arielle’s episode on our podcast, Out of Queeriosity. I was tying it into my favorite topic right now, Non-Binary Thinking and how it’s affecting our future.
I am beginning to see more grey in my life, less black and white. Things that I saw as absolutely black (and “wrong”), I now see on a spectrum where what I perceived as black, I can now see is clearly charcoal.
For example self-love and self-harm. When looking at either of them in a vacuum, without the context of the other, we see simply two opposites. If it’s not self-love, it must be harmful to oneself, etc.
However, when we’re able to see both on a spectrum, that is where the magic of self-awareness really begins to take shape.
An act of removing absolutely all restrictions on eating and drinking could be seen as self-harm. How can you keep it together without knowing...