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Tips for LGBTQ+ Aspiring Authors

 

I'll never forget my first phone call with a major literary agent.  My TEDx talk had been selected by Global TED to be featured on their YouTube channel for the day and boom! The phone began ringing, mostly because I had seeded some pretty incredible relationships while waiting for the talk to premiere. 

I'll also never forget a year later when that same literary agent said "Your proposal is great, your sample chapters are amazing. But. The game has changed.  Instead of needing 15k followers to get a book deal, you need 50k.  And I don't think you can get there.  We're done."

Wait, you're saying my marketing plan is on point AND I have a great product, but because I don't have a billion followers (which can be bought for goodness sake! so it's a BS metric), I can't publish my book?!

Watch me.  I went on to form my own publishing company and I've started to publish other LGBTQ+ authors in the realms of memoir, business, self-help, and other...

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Love is Love. But Safety Comes First.

Was it irony or kismet that I was sitting in a gay bar for the very first time, when I had a Rainbow Parent message me and ask which dating app would be best for her 19 year old newly out daughter?  

 

There I was, having never even been on a dating app therefore completely clueless, and literally surrounded by LGBTQ+ people. I immediately posed the question to the group I was with and the response was swift and unanimous. HER was the dating app this baby gay should be on first. True story.

As I sent the answer back to this mom, I realized how lucky I am to have access to a community of “been there, done that” queers.  Dating knowledge is specific to culture oftentimes, and in our LGBTQ+ community, it’s not passed down from parent to child. If you're were more like me growing up, it was your big sister and brother that showed you how dating was done. But even then it’s just not that applicable when you’re the sole queer in your...

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ALP for Parents' Results

Countless lives are saved with each suicide prevention workshop we’re able to fund.  While the majority of our suicide prevention workshops are for LGBTQ+ college-age students, this one was the first of its kind. Specifically for parents, caregivers, and teachers of LGBTQ+ teens, our goal was to provide them with the education, resources, and support they need to become powerful suicide preventionists in their own homes and classrooms.  

In our latest workshop for parents of LGBTQ youth, we asked the same set of questions before and after the workshop was presented.

The results blew us away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With each presentation, we are not only offering space and training that exists nowhere else, we are also equipping parents with the very real vocabulary, skills, and situational practice to intervene when their kids need it most.

We are still working to fund our next workshop. If you’d like to...

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Raising LGBTQ+ and Neurodiverse Kids

neurodiversity parenting Dec 14, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent way too much time on social media apps during the pandemic.  While we’re in such a time of isolation, we’ve connected virtually in powerful ways.  We’ve also done a ton of introspection and then shared what we’ve found with each other.  Maybe you learned you love to bake sourdough bread.  Maybe, like thousands of people around the world, you discovered that you’re actually not totally heterosexual.  

 

And maybe, like many, many thousands around the world, you realized that you or your child is actually not neurotypical.  As more and more neurodiverse people share how they experience the world, more and more people realize that Autism, ADD, ADHD, and a host of neurodiverse conditions present in many different ways.  Not everyone presents like Rain Man, right?  

 

This played out in my family.  As the pandemic moved on and my partner...

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How to Spell Inclusion with 3 E's

Years ago, when I was married to my husband, he was a rising star at an infamous “Big 4” accounting firm. He was tapped as a potential partner in the firm and was asked to go to many Human Resource trainings. He was already a great accountant, but his company wanted him also to possess great management skills. I always knew when he’d attended a training, because he’d come home that day ready to practice what he’d learned.

He’d try “active listening techniques” as we got the kids ready for bed, and he’d ask for a “feedback meeting” that night. It made me giggle, but actually I always appreciated it. When he was at work, he was motivated and in the right mindset to learn new skills. His instructors were always top-notch and the skills he learned at work to become a great manager translated into our relationship at home. Even though he was working extra-long hours for clients most of the year, I felt a strong loyalty to...

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Small Businesses that have GREAT Gifts for Your LGBTQ+ Loved Ones

The holidays are upon us, and wouldn't it be great to support some Queer-owned businesses and get holidays gifts for LGBTQ+ loved ones (or yourself!) all in one spot?!  I give you.....  The List.

Books:

  • Thriving in Business: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Entrepreneur.  Perfect for any business-minded LGBTQ+ person and the people who love them.  Written by 14 successful LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, published by an all-queer publishing house, and the first of its kind. 
  •  
  • Faust.  A graphic novel series of the old tale with a new queer twist.  Queer author, illustrator, and $5 from every copy goes to Pride and Joy Foundation! 
  • For the Love: A self-discovery journal.  Written and signed by Pride and Joy founder, Elena Joy, this journal gives you prompts to discover parts of yourself you never knew were there.  A great book for parents and kids to go through together and discuss, or for adults to do on their own.  
  • Our Gay History in...
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Shameless Mom Academy - Ep. 595: Elena Joy on Living Out Loud

I recently met Elena through a coaching program we are both in and I immediately knew I wanted to ask her to come on the show.  She has an incredible story that she shares so generously.  And her message is of the utmost importance.

- Sara Dean



 

Pride and Joy Foundation founder, Elena Joy Thurston recently had a chat with Sara Dean on The Shameless Mom Academy podcast. In the episode entitled, 'Living Out Loud After Enduring Life-Threatening Conversion Therapy', Elena Joy shared her about coming out and ultimately owning her sexuality.

Listen in to hear Elena Joy talk to Sara Dean about: 

  1. Her journey through marriage in the Mormon church, to growing a family of 4 children, to realizing she had built a life that was not true to who she was

  2. Her experience of coming out as a lesbian as a Mormon mom of 4

  3. How Mormonism encouraged Elena to disconnect from her body

  4. How she was able to give up control over her body and actually step into her...

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Ending Conversion Therapy in Canada

Minister of Justice, David Lametti introduced Bill C-6 in the House of Commons on October 27, 2020.

 

What does Bill C-6 mean for LGBTQ+ people and how close is it to becoming law?

By: Becca Ladd


 

Bill C-6: a complete ban on conversion therapy

Canada’s members of parliament are making a critical move against discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people in Canada through a new bill proposal. Bill C-6, or the conversion therapy ban, was introduced in the House of Commons on October 27, 2020. Bill C-6 aims to help protect all LGBTQ+ children across Canada from the traumatic effects of conversion therapy. It also seeks to erase the implication that being queer is “bad” or “undesirable.”

Bill C-6 would adjust the criminal code to include conversion therapy. According to the Government of Canada charter statement, conversion therapy for children, non-consenting minors and adults as well as advertising conversion therapy and receiving money or anything...

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The Dos and Donts of Pronouns in the Workplace

 

Misgendering runs strong in the straight community but if you've found this blog post, chances are you are here intentionally and are willing to receive this information.

For that, we thank you. 

Our team is asked to explain pronouns and their usage almost daily so we thought it was time to put pen to paper on this topic. Think of this as your 101 guide to using various pronouns, leading conversations/introductions with YOUR pronouns, and a how-to guide on generally how to be a champion for inclusion of all identities. 

This guide particularly caters to the work environment but is applicable in all places and spaces. 

First, let's establish a baseline of knowledge: 

  • Misgendering: The act of using incorrect pronouns for a person of any gender identity. Often non-binary, trans and gender fluid people experience this most often but it can happen any time a conversation/introduction is not led with pronouns or when you assume someone's gender based off...
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Emergence 2021: Debra Jo Borden

 

My Church Accidentally Taught Me: God is THEY

     By Debra Jo Borden

Intersections: Bio/Adoptive/Foster Mother, Latter-day Saint, Educator, Cisgender, Female, Heterosexual (Rated with Kinsey Scale), Preferred Pronouns (She/Her/Hers, will accept They)

*When referencing deities, the use of capitals is a cultural practice of respect. I was taught to pray using Thee, Thy, and Thou and it is my opinion that the gender-neutral, modern use of They/Them fits in with that practice quite nicely. This article is written with the intention of respect, but I acknowledge that I likely still have unintended bias embedded within my commentary. I have experienced privilege in my overall life and in my church-related endeavors as a white, cisgender, heterosexual female, married in the temple to a husband who supports me (temple marriage being the highest obtainable honor for meeting all sexual purity standards deemed by the church in LDS Purity Culture). Finally, I have been immersed...

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