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Celebrate Queer Authors

The Library is OPEN! Because what– Reading is FUNDAMENTAL, (and no this isn’t for throwing shade like on RuPaul’s drag race.) This is a post to celebrate the queer authors that are a part of our very own Pride and Joy Foundation community and celebrate queer authors as we enter Pride month and summer kicking off is a great time to grab a book and read.

Did you know the publishing world is hella hetero? According to Row House Publishing, a newer publisher that promotes equitable publishing, it is 89% straight/heterosexual and 99% cisgender. The industry is also very white. (I am sure this all this information is no surprise). 

YOUR voices matter because YOUR Voice is YOUR Power. 


I am about to graduate with an MFA in Writing Nonfiction and I have spent the last two years decolonizing the traditional literary canon by choosing to read BIPOC and/or queer writers. Here are 5 (but I have so many more…) recommendations of Queer BIPOC...

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On Gratitude: A Note from our Director of Operations

In a world passing increased hateful anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and spewing anti-LGBTQ+ and racist rhetoric, programs like the Pride and Joy Foundation's Keynote Queers, Leaders for Inclusive Change, OUTWrite Authors, and Pride and Joy Parent Events, hold spaces for the queer community to come together and share our stories, use our voices to elevate our stories, and dive into deeper conversations with allies through education, advocacy and outreach.

Events like this remind me that we are not alone. Events like this remind me that we do have allies out there standing alongside of us. I am grateful for our Pride and Joy HEROs who helped us sponsor our operational costs in 2023 so we can host events like this. I am also grateful for every single person who donated their time, energy or money to the Pride and Joy Foundation, who signed up for our newsletter, who liked or shared our content, who showed up to spaces and events and I am grateful for us, the LGBTQ+ community,...

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On Purpose: A Conversation with Kalyela Josephs

We are days away from our biggest Pride and Joy Parent Event: Prepping Your Family for Pride. We sat down with one of our incredible panelists, Kalyela Josephs (she/they), and also known as Coach K, to chat about pride, family and purpose. Kalyela has been partnering with the Pride and Joy Foundation for a long time. She was featured on our podcast, Out of Queeriosity last season and you can listen here.

Kalyela will also be part of our Pride and Joy Summit - a two part series on Friday May 12 and Saturday May 13 of all LGBTQ+ public speakers across a variety of topics you won't want to miss. Coach K will give their talk "Coming Out to Your Purpose" on Saturday May 13 in the second round of our speakers. 

Their work as a public speaker, coach and LGBTQ+ advocate has changed and empowered individuals and organizations. Kalyela has dedicated their life to helping others find and live with purpose. We hope you will enjoy our meaningful conversation.

 ...

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Visibility is Life: A Conversation with Elena Joy

allyship drag pride May 09, 2023

We are one week away from our biggest Pride and Joy Parent yet, Prepping your Family for Pride. This zoom event is a panel of distinguished guests that includes a trans activist, educator, and drag performer, Junior Mintt; a licensed therapist and author of Gender Magic, Rae McDaniel; public speaker and queer coach, Kalyela Josephs; and public speaker and inclusive educator, Elena Joy Thurston. It will be moderated by Sara Dean of the Shameless Mom Podcast.   

As the Director of Operations for the Pride and Joy Foundation, I had a preliminary conversation with our Founder and Volunteer Executive Director, Elena Joy Thurston, about pride, allyship, parenting, drag and the importance of visibility. We got into truthful and transformational conversations about it all and even how important her Aunt Nöel was (read on for more!) Elena is making waves in the LGBTQ+ community and her work with parents and allies is empowering. She has dedicated her life's work...

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Mintty Fresh: A Conversation with Junior Mintt

We had an exciting opportunity to chat with our headline panelist, the one and only Ms. Junior Mintt. Read more to hear about drag, her makeup line Mintty Fresh, and all things LGBTQ+: pride, allyship, and community.

Junior Mintt will be part of our next Pride and Joy Parent Event: Prepping Your Family for Pride, open to everyone and anyone who would like to be part of the conversation. Learn a little more about Junior Mintt on this post and catch her on Tuesday May 16 at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET for more on the conversation around all things pride. You can save your spot here!

 

"Being queer means embracing change and fluidity. Queer does not mean one thing, so embrace the fluidity of identity if you’re an ally and check your assumptions at the door. As a 28-year-old Black Trans woman, I am still learning and growing as I get to watch the queer youth begin to expand even further our understanding of gender. From Neo-pronouns to Tik Tok, think of being an ally as a...

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On Creating Affirming Space with RaYnbow Collective

What can students do to support their own wellbeing in environments that are not affirming? 

This is one of the main questions that the RaYnbow Collective has asked since its inception. As Maddison Tenney, the founder and current executive director, began this non-profit in June of 2021, queer wellbeing in un-affirming environments in her local community was life or death. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, queer people have a lot of experience in existing in environments that are not affirming. That has been the case for the queer community at Brigham Young University, a damaging and wholly un-affirming space for its queer students, faculty, and staff. That’s why since its start, the RaYnbow Collective has passionately worked to identify and create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students at BYU. That is our mission and why our organization's actions focus on connecting students to affirming community resources, other queer peers, and allies. 

In an attempt to further...

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Gender Magic

We are one month out from our next Pride and Joy Parent event, Prepping your family for Pride and are so excited that Rae McDaniel (they/them) will be joining our incredible panel of distinguished guests. 

Rae is a licensed therapist, certified sex therapist, gender specialist, coach, educator, and author of the new book Gender Magic. They are the Founder and CEO of Practical Audacity, a Gender & Sex Therapy practice in Chicago, Illinois. We spoke with them about writing their book, Gender Magic, what pride means to them, and some notes on allyship. Here is more from our conversation. 

"I believe the world is a better place when we all have the freedom and audacity to be our biggest, most lit-up, authentic selves. That’s my mission and I hope you will join me in it." -Rae McDaniel (they/them)
 
 

Pride and Joy Foundation (PJF): Could you speak a little on the process of writing Gender Magic? (How long did it take, how did the idea...

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Finding Ourselves in the Pages

Take a moment and think about a time you found yourself somewhere in the pages of a book. Was it because the character shared an interest or a personality trait of yours? Was it because you had the same hopes or desires as a character? Was it because they achieved a dream you hoped you would someday too?

I have always been a voracious reader. As a kid, I found parts of myself in books all of the time. In Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” I found the peculiar parts of myself celebrated. In E.L. Konigsburg's “The View from Saturday,” I found the nerdy parts of myself winning. And in Louise Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy,” I found the aspiring writer in me begin to blossom. But as a young person, I almost never saw the queer parts of me in the stories I read.

Because there were so few stories with LGBTQ+ kids in them, and because those few often depicted a difficult life, I assumed that my queer identity was wrong and meant to be hidden from others...

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Trans Day of Visibility

advocacy nonbinary tdov trans Mar 30, 2023

Today is Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). It is celebrated on March 31st every year to honor the lives and contributions of the trans community. TDOV serves as a reminder that transgender individuals exist, always have, and aren’t going anywhere. It is a day to acknowledge, respect, and celebrate the trans community, while also bringing awareness to issues the trans community face such as discrimination, poverty and violence. 

Trans Day of Visibility began in 2009, thanks to Rachel Crandall-Crocker. She wanted a day to celebrate joy and happiness in the trans community to counter all the hate, violence and discrimination shown to the trans community. It wasn’t until 2021 for the White House to officially proclaim March 31, 2021 as Trans Day of Visibility by president Joe Biden. 

Trans as an Umbrella Term

Language evolves and is fluid. Trans is an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. So today we celebrate and...

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Tiny HeartsCan Acorn Project

Our second cohort of Keynote Queers begins today and we are excited to share with our Pride and Joy Foundation family about the successes of one of our Keynote Queer graduates, Amy E. Porter (she/they). After Keynote Queers, Amy has spoken to over 1000 medical professionals across the world and incorporated her own non-profit, Tiny HeartsCan Foundation, the only non-profit in North America dedicated to prenatal detection of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). 

We interviewed Amy to learn more about CHD, how Amy began Tiny HeartsCan, and about their upcoming fundraiser, the Acorn Project. Keep reading for important information around CHD awareness and advocacy. "One heart scan, so tiny hearts can."

 

Tiny HeartsCan Acorn Project Fundraiser

The Acorn Project fundraiser will launch on March 20, 2023. Acorn keychains will be given as a free gift for any single donation of $25 or more via e-transfer or donation on our website, www.tinyheartscan.org/donate...

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