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...
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...
Takeyla Benton is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Analyst by day and revolutionary poetic bodhisattva soul every other day.
She has over 15 years of experience in banking management and career mentorship. She's a life coach, mystic, and guided meditation coach helping Black and Brown women find their purpose through the pain. She's a mother, writer, and activist for transformational growth from within.
Takeyla is speaking at the Parents and Leaders as Allies track on the Pride and Joy Summit about Corporate Allyship.