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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,

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Coming Out to My Kids and How It Changed My Parenting

I think I was born a perfectionist. I’ve spent my life trying to do things right. So when it came to parenting, I was all in and ready to give 110%. I read all the books and took all the advice. I was determined to be a great parent.

And from a certain point of view, I suppose I was. 

As a straight, Christian mom, the primary goal of my parenting was to help my children develop their own personal faith — a faith they wouldn’t abandon when they left home. This involved guiding my children’s thinking and opinions, taking them to church twice a week, doing Bible devotionals at home — although admittedly I wasn’t great at this one, and making sure they were well-behaved.

My biggest fear was messing up as a mom. I wanted to do everything perfectly. I was taught that my entire life’s purpose was to raise Christian children. And if I messed it up, I was putting not only my own salvation at risk, but my kids’ salvation as well. Mix that...

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Professional Development: A Key Component of Inclusive Leadership

It’s safe to say that it is not uncommon for many people to get to a point in one’s career when they finally realize that there is so much that they still don’t know. 

When your career is just beginning, it’s easy to be a bit naive, star-struck, and wide-eyed, or fully determined to prove your worth to the boss and yourself. You might become preoccupied with “earning your stripes” or taking up your rightful space in the conference room. 

Let’s pause for a moment and hear about Jax* 

*Names changed for confidentiality reasons

Jax* (they/them) has worked their way up the ladder at their company ACME Marketing*. It was their second job out of college and they truly loved the position. When Jax decided to come out as non-binary, the company was really great about changing their name in the HR system and normalizing the use of pronouns for all employees. It was an ideal scenario.  

It’s 2023 and Jax has already been...

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Pride and Joy HEROs

donors heros lgbtq+ nonprofit Feb 10, 2023

We are incredibly grateful for our 2023 Pride and Joy HEROs. In November of 2022, the Pride and Joy Foundation launched our Giving TuesGAY campaign. We partnered with Chronicle Cinema to provide a special pre-release and private viewing of Conversion, a documentary about conversion therapy survivors, for our donors of any amount.

Part of our campaign included an option to be a 2023 Pride and Joy HERO as an official sponsor for all programming and events. 

Our theme for 2023 is YOUR Voice, YOUR Power. Thank you to Dr. Getrude Lyons, RENEWPR, and Jill Davis with Storytellers Porch for being our Pride and Joy HEROs in 2023. Because of YOUR Voices and YOUR Power, we are able to amplify OUR Voice and OUR Power. If you are curious about being a Pride and Joy HERO for 2024, make sure to check back in November for our Giving TuesGAY campaign


Dr. Gertrude Lyons

“Together, we can start a new conversation around modern motherhood.” -...

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A Conversation with Quinten Foster

We have the honor and privilege of partnering with Quinten Foster (he/him), Director of Transgender Whole Health Care, at East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) in Rhode Island for our next Pride and Joy Parent event. In our preliminary conversation with Quinten, he shares some of his insight on healthy relationships, sex ed in schools, his work in the community, as well as provides helpful resources for teens. 

Pride and Joy Foundation (P&J): What things are integral to maintaining healthy relationships (and this doesn’t have to necessarily be romantic, could be platonic, familial, professional, etc.)

Quinten: The most important one that I tend to share with teens is generally just communication. Being able to talk to somebody about these things is very important. Communicating in healthy ways, being able to set boundaries, and really understanding that boundaries are a limitation on your own behavior, rather than a demand out of somebody else. Being able to frame...

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Your Voice, Your Power

lgbtq new year power voice Jan 11, 2023

Happy New Year. Elena Joy here. For some people, the holidays are a lovely change of pace from the rest of the year, a time to slow down and be with those they love. 

I celebrate those type of people who can find that rhythm for themselves. For me, the best day of the last two months has been January 2nd.

Because anyone like me, with some childhood and adult trauma around the holidays, has a very hard time staying present and grounded. And the pressure just lifts up so much once they’re over and the change is palpable. 

The thing that kept me grounded through the last two months has without a doubt been My Voice. I wrote a lot. While most years my writing routine goes out the window during the holiday upheaval, this year my writing routine was the only thing that didn’t implode about my day. 

The pressure to “celebrate” was minimal in the quiet and dark mornings. Curling up in a corner with my laptop and a big mug of tea felt like self-care. I...

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Queer at Christmas

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2022

December packs a punch.

Majorly over-marketed holidays, limited daylight, and the insurmountable pressure to accomplish your 2022 goals before time is out can exhaust even the Energizer Bunny.  For the LGBTQ+ community, the added pressures of forcing ourselves to fit into traditions that don’t “traditionally '' accept our existence can run us right off the rails. 

How does one endure this season as an LGBTQ+ person? How do you as an ally support your LGBTQ+ loved one? 

For me, small acts of support from my immediate family and friends have yielded my greatest success. Cozy, lowkey traditions I set for myself help me recharge in between. Want some examples? Buckle up – there may be a few surprises.

During our first Christmas together, my girlfriend Courtney and I experienced all the early relationship, first-time-meeting-your-family anxieties. What should she wear? Will everyone like her? Minor caveat, I was still in the closet. I was bringing my...

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LGBTQ+ Issues: Perspectives from a South Indian Straight Girl

ally lgbtq international Dec 06, 2022

LGBTQ+ Issues: Perspectives from a South Indian Straight Girl

“You there, YOU TWO, How were your hands held while walking right now? Do the same once more!” 

Eli (my friend) and I turned around to notice our Academic Coordinator glaring at us. Eli demonstrated it and told her that I had injured my leg and needed support while getting down the stairs for which she had held my hand. But our Academic Coordinator (who also happens to be a professor of Psychology!) was not pleased, and she kept asking us pointless questions before labeling us as lesbians. I stood there perplexed, wondering what was going on. I was shocked to even say anything, wondering how a highly educated person could be so narrow-minded as to label us as Lesbians simply because we held hands. It might seem weird to even think that when two straight girls held hands she concluded that we were lesbians! Such is the mindset of most people in India. 

Now, this incident occurred in India, a...

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How do you talk to your LGBTQ+ teenager about what happened in Colorado Springs?

I’m not a therapist or a trained mental health professional in any way. And when I find those resources and they help me, I’ll share them. 

What I am is an LGBTQ+ mom with at least one LGBTQ+ kid. And I’m not here to actually give you advice, I’m here to share and also hear from you. I’m here to start the conversation. 

First, thank you for even asking yourself this question. It means you’ve truly internalized your child’s identity. If you thought it was a phase, this event would feel like it happened to “others”, it would feel distant and not so immediate. 

But for those of us in the community, it’s very immediate. It’s right here. There is a mix of anger, sorrow, and fear. This emotional cocktail is normally squashed, we don’t allow it to take up much rent in our brains. When we do, it feels like we’ve let them win.  

But waking up yesterday to the news of what happened in...

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Halloween Is Queer

halloween history lic Oct 27, 2022


My favorite holiday is just around the corner… Halloween. I’ll start 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 announcement.

I don’t think I have ever skipped dressing up, even if I...

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