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How do you talk to your LGBTQ+ teenager about what happened in Colorado Springs?

I’m not a therapist or a trained mental health professional in any way. And when I find those resources and they help me, I’ll share them. 

What I am is an LGBTQ+ mom with at least one LGBTQ+ kid. And I’m not here to actually give you advice, I’m here to share and also hear from you. I’m here to start the conversation. 

First, thank you for even asking yourself this question. It means you’ve truly internalized your child’s identity. If you thought it was a phase, this event would feel like it happened to “others”, it would feel distant and not so immediate. 

But for those of us in the community, it’s very immediate. It’s right here. There is a mix of anger, sorrow, and fear. This emotional cocktail is normally squashed, we don’t allow it to take up much rent in our brains. When we do, it feels like we’ve let them win.  

But waking up yesterday to the news of what happened in...

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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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