**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...
The next speaker from our Pride and Joy Summit from May 2021, is Dean Rasmussen. Dean is a transman, hailing from Canada, and was on our planning committee for the Summit. Dean was in charge of our Gender Identity track, which was a powerful experience for everyone involved. When Dean agreed to also speak for his track, I was overjoyed. Because in the months we had been working together to create this Summit, I had learned what an incredible human he is.
Dean is a fellow conversion therapy survivor. He is a parent and a husband, as well as a trans life coach. In our planning meetings, Dean was never the loudest or the most boisterous. Dean never shoved his way into the spotlight, and even giving this talk was one of the more challenging things he’s done. Visibility is not easy for every queer person.
Yet, Dean had this calm, quiet authority. Dean has LIVED a lot of life. His wisdom, his clarity on sticky situations, was a guiding force as we planned this huge international...
Last year, Pride and Joy Publishing released its flagship publication, Thriving in Business: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Entrepreneur. Within a week, the book hit #1 in Women in Business and #7 in Entrepreneurship.
Although the titles and rankings are a good fit for many of the authors within the book, we quickly realized that there was something missing in the literary world. Although 6 out of the 14 authors in this book are either trans, non-binary or gender fluid, there was no existing category for them that perfectly fit the bill. Pride and Joy Publishing began digging into the titles/categories allotted and found that there were currently no “Nonbinary Authors” or “LGBTQ+ Business” categories in existence.
Although this book is making waves in terms of visibility and direct guidance for LGBTQ+ business owners, the lack of these authorship categories is more than enough evidence that our literary and business worlds...