About Us

We envision a world where all LGBTQ+ humans are heard, housed, and mentally healthy.

The mission of the Pride & Joy Foundation is to prevent suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community by fostering allyship, empowering advocates, and creating opportunities for LGBTQ+ visibility. 


 Elena Joy Thurston, Founder and Executive Director 

Elena Joy Thurston is an inspirational LGBTQ speaker, trainer, and founder of the nonprofit Pride and Joy Foundation - which is dedicated to reducing the rate of suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ community. A Mormon mom of four who lost her marriage, her church, and her community when she came out as a lesbian, Elena’s viral TEDx talk on surviving conversion therapy has been viewed 40,000+ times and landed her media and speaking opportunities with ABC, CBS, FOX, Boston’s First Event, Seacoast Wellness Series, and THRIVE.


Noël McClure, Vice President

Teacher in the Madison School District, Phoenix AZ.  Parent.  Peace Corps Volunteer.  Extensive school board and community service.


Kristen Kile, Treasurer

Business bachelor's degree.  Years of work in the accounting world.  Served on several boards including Casting for Recovery, a breast cancer support organization


Braidyn Browning (They/Them), Secretary

Non-Binary Entrepreneur, published author, BS in Communications, Copywriter for LGBTQ+ led businesses. 

Caitlin Beasley (She/Her), Board Member

 BA, MA in History. Communications and public relations professional. Trained researcher, narrative developer, and community builder.


Megan Bloomer (She/Her),  Board Member

Dr. Megan Bloomer (she/her) is a quirky and rebellious corporate executive with a proven track record of shaking things up and challenging the status quo. As an openly queer woman, she bridges insider and outsider status to forge new ideas and opportunities. She was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Innovative Leaders of the Year under the 2019 Fortune 100 Best Places to Work rankings. She has facilitated workshops for TED and pushed the boundaries with her TEDx talk on creating safe space inside of corporate environments. In 2021, Megan was recognized as one of the Top 50 Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders by DiversityFIRST and in early 2022, she was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council. 


Chad Dawson, Board Member

Chad is a professional engineer with a master's degree in electrical engineering.  As a person of faith, he was a Mormon “Young Men’s President” (essentially equivalent to a youth pastor) and later a Bishop's counselor (equivalent to an assistant pastor).  One result of losing faith was an awakening to important social issues.  Convinced that the LGBTQ+ caPJFe is the civil rights movement of our times, Chad has become an ally with a particular interest in helping young people.  He served as an assistant One-N-Ten LGBTQ+ youth group leader from 2018to 2019 and has been a Pride and Joy board member since 2021.


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