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Gender Queer: Elena Joy's Perspective

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...

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A Letter from Z's Mom

 

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...

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Surviving and Thriving Transformations and Changes in Parenting

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...

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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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Pride with Kids, All Year Long

 

As Pride Month 2021 comes to a close, here is a review of the most commonly asked questions from parents of LGBTQ+ kids.    

I’m pretty sure my kid is LGBTQ+ but they haven’t come out.  Why aren’t they being honest with me?  

Not being out with your parents is very common in the LGBTQ+ community. The coming out journey begins with being out to yourself, and depending on the environment you're being raised in, it can feel unsafe to be authentic even to yourself, let alone your parents. The more comfortable a child is with their own identity, the more likely they'll come out to their parents.  

Obviously, parents and caregivers influence that comfort level. But home life can be very accepting and the child might still struggle to accept their identity themselves. It’s a very personal journey, which can feel disconcerting since we’re their parents. We wiped their bums for goodness sake! We feel heavily...

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Parent Connection - Support Group for Parents

Parenting is already the hardest job in the world, and when you add sexuality to the mix, it gets even more challenging.

Whether your child is just beginning to question their sexuality or is ready to buy every rainbow they see, we are here to provide connection and support. Without judgment.

'Cause parenting is hard enough without being judged by other parents. We see you and we need you.

Join us on www.PrideAndJoyParents.com!

Parent Connection is a support network for parents who needs help and guidance in handling matters relating to their children's sexuality.

Acceptance, support, and understanding are one of the best things that LGBTQ+ children will ever receive, especially from their parents. As such, we all know that you, as parents, want to give your best to your child, however, you're not invincible.

Parenting is already a challenge of its own, your child's sexuality being part of the equation opens up a whole other set of challenges. Our goal is to provide a safe space...

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Parenting Your Non-Binary Child

Alex is 14, and six months ago, they told their parents that they are bisexual and non-binary. Alex came out in the greatest way, setting up a scavenger hunt for their parents, which ended in their closet (of course) where the bisexual pride flag was hanging. Alex’s parents were so happy that they felt confident enough to come out, and especially that Alex was trusting them with this vulnerable information. Alex’s parents gave them a huge hug and said “we love you no matter what.”

  

But now it’s six months later. Alex and their parents haven’t spoken about it much since. Alex feels awkward bringing it up again, but they’re really not sure who else to talk with about what they’re experiencing. They’ve asked their teachers to use they/them pronouns and some were good about it. They got a lecture from their English teacher and that didn’t feel great. But Alex wasn’t sure their parents would want to hear about...

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LGBTQ ISSUES IN CANADIAN SCHOOLS

Schools are the second important space for children (the first being home) which affects their overall growth and it plays a vital role in directing their mental development. It is important to look into how these schools work in nurturing and mentoring a healthy and socially responsible group of youth.

As Canada is a country that has a law and society that accepts the LGBTQ community, Canadian schools are also required to be inclusive in nature with regard to gender diversity and sexuality. With the law enforced and several efforts taken to make sure everything is perfectly executed, do all of the schools in Canada follow the provincial law and the right curriculum when it comes to LGBTQ? 

Unfortunately, the answer is NO.

There are a lot of issues in schools that need to be addressed. The root cause of most of the problems is lack of awareness. Some of the visible problems are discrimination against LGBTQ kids from other students as well as teachers, bullying, discrimination...

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Intentionally Parenting LGBTQ Children

                                         CHOOSING TO BE GOOD PARENTS

 

As someone has said, parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to actually do.

In India, parenting is something everybody around you involved in; the grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbours and the list goes on. This is because there is an unofficial fundamental right to peep into how others are raising their children and make comments and suggestions and also teach them religious and ‘traditional values’ if they get a chance. 

Yes, it is stupid, but unfortunately true. Joint families still exist in India, hesitating to break into nuclear ones. This makes it more common to have a lot of people getting involved in the process of raising a child. Even if the family is a nuclear one, the grandparents never step back from their...

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