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Pride as a Later in Life Lesbian

Why I Love Pride: A Later-In-Life Lesbian Perspective

It took me a long time to figure out I’m a lesbian. Decades in fact. And in all that time, I didn’t understand Pride. If anything, I avoided it. I'd like to think I wouldn't have been one of those Karens spewing hatred about the Pride section in Target, but I don't really know.

I’d spent my life in a religion that taught me gay people were bad, wrong. Gayness was worse than anything I could think of. It wasn't like cancer because it didn't just happen to you. I grew up believing that the people who were gay chose to be that way in defiance of the god I was told I should believe in.

So I didn't understand.

I didn't understand that Pride was born of a protest. I didn't understand that Pride is a celebration of life and love and queer joy. I didn't understand that Pride is a place to belong when you aren't accepted by the culture in which you live.

My first Pride as a later-in-life lesbian was in 2021....

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On Purpose: A Conversation with Kalyela Josephs

We are days away from our biggest Pride and Joy Parent Event: Prepping Your Family for Pride. We sat down with one of our incredible panelists, Kalyela Josephs (she/they), and also known as Coach K, to chat about pride, family and purpose. Kalyela has been partnering with the Pride and Joy Foundation for a long time. She was featured on our podcast, Out of Queeriosity last season and you can listen here.

Kalyela will also be part of our Pride and Joy Summit - a two part series on Friday May 12 and Saturday May 13 of all LGBTQ+ public speakers across a variety of topics you won't want to miss. Coach K will give their talk "Coming Out to Your Purpose" on Saturday May 13 in the second round of our speakers. 

Their work as a public speaker, coach and LGBTQ+ advocate has changed and empowered individuals and organizations. Kalyela has dedicated their life to helping others find and live with purpose. We hope you will enjoy our meaningful conversation.


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Visibility is Life: A Conversation with Elena Joy

allyship drag pride May 09, 2023

We are one week away from our biggest Pride and Joy Parent yet, Prepping your Family for Pride. This zoom event is a panel of distinguished guests that includes a trans activist, educator, and drag performer, Junior Mintt; a licensed therapist and author of Gender Magic, Rae McDaniel; public speaker and queer coach, Kalyela Josephs; and public speaker and inclusive educator, Elena Joy Thurston. It will be moderated by Sara Dean of the Shameless Mom Podcast.   

As the Director of Operations for the Pride and Joy Foundation, I had a preliminary conversation with our Founder and Volunteer Executive Director, Elena Joy Thurston, about pride, allyship, parenting, drag and the importance of visibility. We got into truthful and transformational conversations about it all and even how important her Aunt Nöel was (read on for more!) Elena is making waves in the LGBTQ+ community and her work with parents and allies is empowering. She has dedicated her life's work...

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Mintty Fresh: A Conversation with Junior Mintt

We had an exciting opportunity to chat with our headline panelist, the one and only Ms. Junior Mintt. Read more to hear about drag, her makeup line Mintty Fresh, and all things LGBTQ+: pride, allyship, and community.

Junior Mintt will be part of our next Pride and Joy Parent Event: Prepping Your Family for Pride, open to everyone and anyone who would like to be part of the conversation. Learn a little more about Junior Mintt on this post and catch her on Tuesday May 16 at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET for more on the conversation around all things pride. You can save your spot here!


"Being queer means embracing change and fluidity. Queer does not mean one thing, so embrace the fluidity of identity if you’re an ally and check your assumptions at the door. As a 28-year-old Black Trans woman, I am still learning and growing as I get to watch the queer youth begin to expand even further our understanding of gender. From Neo-pronouns to Tik Tok, think of being an ally as a...

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Gender Magic

We are one month out from our next Pride and Joy Parent event, Prepping your family for Pride and are so excited that Rae McDaniel (they/them) will be joining our incredible panel of distinguished guests. 

Rae is a licensed therapist, certified sex therapist, gender specialist, coach, educator, and author of the new book Gender Magic. They are the Founder and CEO of Practical Audacity, a Gender & Sex Therapy practice in Chicago, Illinois. We spoke with them about writing their book, Gender Magic, what pride means to them, and some notes on allyship. Here is more from our conversation. 

"I believe the world is a better place when we all have the freedom and audacity to be our biggest, most lit-up, authentic selves. That’s my mission and I hope you will join me in it." -Rae McDaniel (they/them)

Pride and Joy Foundation (PJF): Could you speak a little on the process of writing Gender Magic? (How long did it take, how did the idea...

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Your Guide to Queer Pride

lgbtq+ pride Jun 13, 2022

Happy Pride month! Whether this is your first pride or your bazillionth plus one, we’ve got you covered for all things queer all month long. 

To begin, check out one of Pride and Joy’s Instagram followers, to_all_the_latter_day_gays. They posted daily suggestions for how to celebrate Pride. Although we are nearing the mid of Pride month, you can still join the fun! Click here to see some of their ideas on small things you can do to celebrate all month long.

Another great way to get plugged into your local queer scenes is to find your local gay chamber of commerce. Check out their website, and you can easily search by state and province to find the closest local gay chamber of commerce near you. 

Some of you may live in cities that have Pride parades and festivals in the month of June. Make sure to check your local pride festivities and be sure to stay hydrated in the hot sun of summer! If you are celebrating at a Pride festival this summer, let us know and tag...

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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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Point of Pride Summit by ONE Community


Pride and Joy Foundation is a proud Community Partner of ONE Community’s 5th annual Point of Pride LGBTQ Inclusive Summit. This year’s event runs June 21st-24th and begins with the up-to-the-moment State of LGBTQ+ Arizona presentation followed by three can’t miss panel discussions: LGBTQ+ Issues at the Capitol & Moving Forward, Building an Inclusive Workplace Culture, and Socially Responsible Business Advocacy


State of LGBTQ+ Arizona

The summit will kick off with a presentation on the importance of LGBTQ+ Workplace inclusion to attract and retain top talent to your organization, the current State of LGBTQ+ Arizona, and the path forward to a state that celebrates, respects, and protects us all presented by ONE Community President, Angela Hughey.


LBGTQ+ Issues at the Capitol & Moving Forward

The expert panelists Mesa Mayor John Giles, Regional COO of AMR/GMR and the Chair of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Kasprzyk, Glendale Chamber...

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Sobriety in Pride: Know Your Triggers and Solutions

An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ community abuses substances, compared to about 9 percent of the population as a whole. This can be due to several factors, but can mostly be attributed to the daily societal pressures that our community faces that heterosexuals simply don’t have to put up with. Discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace, hate crimes, internalized homophobia, public humiliation, and family isolation due to coming out are all contributors. We also know that LGBTQ nightlife plays a big role in our community. Meant to be a safe space to hang out, date, and let loose, club life is categorically immersed in the world of alcohol and recreational drugs. What is sometimes glamorized on screen and on social media is just not cute in real life.

This Pride season will be especially triggering with the first in-person celebrations and festivals we’ve had in over a year. We are ready to party and coming out...

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PRIDE and Profitability

Now that quarantine in my state is slowly starting to lift, I was excited to visit my local Target last week that I hadn’t been to in months (and by “local” I mean an hour away, because in Idaho that’s considered local).  After walking up and down a few aisles, I realized that there was absolutely no Pride display or any Pride merchandise being sold. 

When I lived in New Jersey, every year, a huge Pride display greeted customers as soon as they walked in the door.  This led me down a rabbit hole of thoughts surrounding Pride merchandise and the economics behind it. Some thoughts that came to mind -

  1. How genuine are brands in supporting the LGBTQ+ community if they aren’t selling Pride merchandise in all of their stores?
  2. How do brands decide which stores to sell their merchandise in?
  3. Do brands actually support the community or are they just trying to capitalize on us during Pride month?
  4. By choosing not to sell Pride merchandise in certain...
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