Take a moment and think about a time you found yourself somewhere in the pages of a book. Was it because the character shared an interest or a personality trait of yours? Was it because you had the same hopes or desires as a character? Was it because they achieved a dream you hoped you would someday too?
I have always been a voracious reader. As a kid, I found parts of myself in books all of the time. In Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” I found the peculiar parts of myself celebrated. In E.L. Konigsburg's “The View from Saturday,” I found the nerdy parts of myself winning. And in Louise Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy,” I found the aspiring writer in me begin to blossom. But as a young person, I almost never saw the queer parts of me in the stories I read.
Because there were so few stories with LGBTQ+ kids in them, and because those few often depicted a difficult life, I assumed that my queer identity was wrong and meant to be hidden from others...
October is just right around the corner, and with National Coming Out Day drawing near, we want to do something special for you.
As a foundation, our goal is to encourage and lift you up. So this October, we want to bring visibility and validity to every queer experience - we believe that all coming out journeys are valid and need to be shared. If you let us, we'd love to share yours with the world.
Whether you've JUST come out, are thinking about coming out or have been out for years, we want to share your story in whatever medium or form of expression comes most naturally to you.
Every story is different, some experiences are unexpectedly easy and some have unexpected and lasting consequences. Whatever your journey is like, it's definitely worth sharing and deserves to be in the spotlight.
That's why we organized Emergence, to celebrate the different coming out stories from the community and bring attention to queer experiences. Share your...
"My TEDx talk changed my life."
- Elena Joy Thurston, Founder of Pride and Joy Foundation
Being on stage and connecting with people is something that Elena never struggled with. In the past, when she found herself in the middle of a messy divorce and struggling to take care of her four kids, these skills are what saved her.
With no other marketable skills, no work experience for the past 15 years, and no savings, she relied on her eagerness to dominate the stage and her ability to connect with people. She worked with one of the best speaker coaches for four long months to master public speaking and her hard work paid off.
She got accepted on her first try in applying to a TEDx event. This may not be for everyone, but she knew at that point that it was meant to be - it's her journey. As she stood in that iconic red circle carpet on stage, in front of about 900 people eager to listen to what she has to say, she realized a crazy new reality.
Being queer is a superpower.