We have the honor and privilege of partnering with Quinten Foster (he/him), Director of Transgender Whole Health Care, at East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) in Rhode Island for our next Pride and Joy Parent event. In our preliminary conversation with Quinten, he shares some of his insight on healthy relationships, sex ed in schools, his work in the community, as well as provides helpful resources for teens.
Quinten: The most important one that I tend to share with teens is generally just communication. Being able to talk to somebody about these things is very important. Communicating in healthy ways, being able to set boundaries, and really understanding that boundaries are a limitation on your own behavior, rather than a demand out of somebody else. Being able to frame...
Happy New Year. Elena Joy here. For some people, the holidays are a lovely change of pace from the rest of the year, a time to slow down and be with those they love.
I celebrate those type of people who can find that rhythm for themselves. For me, the best day of the last two months has been January 2nd.
Because anyone like me, with some childhood and adult trauma around the holidays, has a very hard time staying present and grounded. And the pressure just lifts up so much once they’re over and the change is palpable.
The thing that kept me grounded through the last two months has without a doubt been My Voice. I wrote a lot. While most years my writing routine goes out the window during the holiday upheaval, this year my writing routine was the only thing that didn’t implode about my day.
The pressure to “celebrate” was minimal in the quiet and dark mornings. Curling up in a corner with my laptop and a big mug of tea felt like self-care. I...
December packs a punch.
Majorly over-marketed holidays, limited daylight, and the insurmountable pressure to accomplish your 2022 goals before time is out can exhaust even the Energizer Bunny. For the LGBTQ+ community, the added pressures of forcing ourselves to fit into traditions that don’t “traditionally '' accept our existence can run us right off the rails.
How does one endure this season as an LGBTQ+ person? How do you as an ally support your LGBTQ+ loved one?
For me, small acts of support from my immediate family and friends have yielded my greatest success. Cozy, lowkey traditions I set for myself help me recharge in between. Want some examples? Buckle up – there may be a few surprises.
During our first Christmas together, my girlfriend Courtney and I experienced all the early relationship, first-time-meeting-your-family anxieties. What should she wear? Will everyone like her? Minor caveat, I was still in the closet. I was bringing my...
LGBTQ+ Issues: Perspectives from a South Indian Straight Girl
“You there, YOU TWO, How were your hands held while walking right now? Do the same once more!”
Eli (my friend) and I turned around to notice our Academic Coordinator glaring at us. Eli demonstrated it and told her that I had injured my leg and needed support while getting down the stairs for which she had held my hand. But our Academic Coordinator (who also happens to be a professor of Psychology!) was not pleased, and she kept asking us pointless questions before labeling us as lesbians. I stood there perplexed, wondering what was going on. I was shocked to even say anything, wondering how a highly educated person could be so narrow-minded as to label us as Lesbians simply because we held hands. It might seem weird to even think that when two straight girls held hands she concluded that we were lesbians! Such is the mindset of most people in India.
Now, this incident occurred in India, a...
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...
“Halloween: the best holiday, if you ask me– it doesn’t insist upon wholeness that makes so many feel deficit and lonely; it rarely makes your family feel more broke (or broken) than it already is. Halloween doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad or what religion you are or not. So bring on the eyelashes and wigs and devil’s horns; take out the pancake makeup and fake blood and those ridiculous heels you thought you’d never wear again. The kids are squealing down the street with pillowcases full of free candy, the drag bars have lines around the corner, and for one night, everyones asking everyone else a pretty great question, 'so, who are you'?” - Nickole Brown's annual Halloween announcement.
I don’t think I have ever skipped dressing up, even if I...
If Pride is in June, then why do we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month in October?
The reason is because it coincides with the National Coming Out Day on October 11 as well as honors the first marches in Washington for LGBTQ+ rights that were in October of 1979 and 1987. The United States didn’t officially recognize October as LGBTQ+ history month until 1994. Rodney Wilson, the first openly gay public school teacher in Missouri came up with the idea. Wilson was a founder of the first coordinating committee and helped choose October as the month for our history along with early members of Kevin Jennings from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and others.
If you read about historical moments and tell yourself, If I lived in that time, I would do more to help change things. Well now is the time, you can. We need advocates and allies.
Here are things you can do today, right now to help make a difference and be a part of history and...
School has already begun and the college application season is in full swing for seniors in high school. As a professional in higher education for over ten years, with my formative years in college admissions, I am here to help break down some elements the college application process entails. Applying for college can be exciting, but can also bring a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around finances. Before getting scared of the sticker price on your favorite school, read on for some helpful information regarding paying for college and special scholarship information for LGBTQ+ students.
First things first though. In order to qualify for financial aid, all students will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA (good news, the government made it much easier than it was back in my day!) It is highly recommended to do this sooner than later so you can get your information to the schools you are applying for as soon as possible. *Side note: you...
Our very first Twitch fundraiser (September 3-22) is underway and we are SO excited! Three incredible streamers have offered to raise funds to support our efforts in covering the cost for teachers to take an Inclusive Leadership course, to empower them to hold safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
We would love to have you join us! And if it's not your thing, please please share. We are trying hard to support the teachers who support our LGBTQ+ kids at school all day and roll out the amazing work from our creators, Ær Queen (they/them,fen/fens) and Nicholas Prosini (they/them).
Below is the info for some of our streamers and more info on the other schedules will be added soon. We would love to have you join us!
Braelyn is a mental health advocate, community manager, public speaker, podcast host and streamer on Twitch TV. Her streams are usually fun chats or she plays games like Sims 4, Mario Kart, Fortnite, Fall Guys,...
For many kiddos, the start of school is the perfect time to meet new students, expand their friend group, or connect more fully with their classmates. As a parent, it can be nerve-wracking to let our kiddo spend time in a new friend’s house. As a parent of an LGBTQ+ human, it can be terrifying. One of the best ways to ensure our kids and their LGBTQ+ friends are spending time in a safe environment is to open our home to them after school and on weekends. Being an ally is the first and most important step to creating a safe space for our kiddos. This guide focuses on the second most important thing: creating an inviting and awesome physical space.
Co-create a space to hang out.
Kids these days are all about the aesthetics. They want to spend time in a space that feels really good to them, even if it wouldn’t be your design choice. Think of your kid as a partner in curating the space and give them some freedom to be...