Welcome to our Pride and Joy Queer-ative Writing Series where we provide a space to post our OUTWrite Authors and Keynote Queers grads creative writing. This aligns with our theme of YOUR Voice, YOUR Power and we are excited to share creative writing with the community. All writing submitted is original work by the author and belongs to the author. The Pride and Joy Foundation does not own any publishing rights to creative work submitted. All work posted is edited for grammar and spelling only. The views and opinions contained within our guest blog belong solely to the contributing writer.
This week's post is by one of our OUTWrite Author 2022 grads, Lauren McMullan, who wrote a series in 4 parts. Here is their prologue in a series of her four fragments.
In my mindsky, I write. In these headclouds, I float. Watch storms come in that once rolled me in fear, and now watch lightning flashes and make them...
We are ONE WEEK away from our next Pride and Joy Parent Event: An Evening with Nicole Gress. This event will give affirming adults an opportunity to learn just how important voice is in mental health. They will be there to answer all your questions, share her story and we are sure her contagious energy will inspire conversations well beyond our event.
We had a moment to sit down and chat more about Undead Voice and hear directly from Nicole for this week's blog post about some of the background of Undead Voice and why they started it as well as a dive into mental health for the trans and nonbinary community. Nicole also graciously shares resources you can come back to.
And for even more information about Undead Voice, Nicole's expertise, and some of their personal journey, don't forget we kicked off Season 3 of our podcast, Out of Queerisotiy with Nicole, so make sure to have a listen!
What do you love most about the work you do at Undead Voice?
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When I was in high school in the 80’s, nobody was out of the closet. There were people you might have guessed were gay — gaydar is a thing after all. But no one was willing to admit it.
Growing up in a Texas suburb, being queer wasn’t safe.
Everyday life was closely interwoven with the dominant religious doctrine of the area. And while teenagers would rebel with drinking or sex. Admitting you were gay was crossing an invisible line from safety to danger. And almost no one dared.
It’s no wonder I wasn’t able to consciously recognize my own queerness back then. On some level I knew I was a lesbian. I remember having an undeniable crush on a girl during my sophomore year. But I somehow rationalized it away because being gay just wasn’t an option.
I had been taught — and wholeheartedly believed — that being queer was fundamentally bad. My...
The first time I felt it was in the first grade. I had just moved to a new city and I was painfully quiet. My parents didn’t make it easier because they always pointed it out and told me I needed to break out of my shell more. We were immigrants and didn’t have the privilege to have time and energy to dedicate towards talking about our feelings. Mom and Dad both had to hustle at the salon in order to pay off the debt that they got into by opening this new business. Dad spent hours every day on his feet, snipping at people’s hair while breathing in the nostalgic and disgusting fumes of this magic paste that helped them hide their natural hair color. Mom skipped meals, hunched over in the back room feverishly tending to people’s faces, making them look and feel the most beautiful they’d ever felt before. While she herself was swallowing guilt and shame and becoming an expert at holding back tears whenever the...
Have you ever heard the word ‘authentic(ity)’ and thought, what does it really even mean!? Am I authentic? Why is it such a buzzword these days?
As someone who lives and breathes the pursuit of authenticity both personally as a genderqueer woman and professionally as a Life & Business Coach, I’m thrilled to be here today discussing this incredibly powerful topic with you! Thank you, Pride & Joy Foundation, for having me!!
In this post, I’ll use the term Queer+ to address all of us on the non-conforming gender and sexuality spectrum.
Let me know how it lands! DM me on instagram @naomi_authentically.
-XO Naomi (she/they) Mendes-Pouget
First, it’s important to explore authenticity as a verb, rather than as an adjective. Authenticity is an active CHOICE to BE visible, transparent, and truthful as we move through our...
Lez be real, friends. This has been an intense year for everyone in our community, and frankly, the intensity has peaked during this past summer of 2023. From finding out SCOTUS made it legal for businesses to discriminate against us to Florida and.... well, that's all we need to say, just Florida. We are all feeling huge concern for our LGBTQ+ youth heading back into the classroom this fall. From parents to teachers to queer parents, the anxiety is big.
And we are here for you, fam! We have several resources to support you right now, bringing you the LGBTQ+ experts, ideas, tips, and tricks so that YOU can make the best decisions possible for your LGBTQ+ kiddo.
Starting with the most comprehensive, last fall we brought together 3 experts on supporting LGBTQ+ youth at school and featured them in a Pride and Joy Parents event. That event lives in our Pride & Joy Parent (PJP) event replays, a course here on our website.
Lots of the...
I was raised to be a good girl — to follow the rules, respect my teachers, and obey my parents. Doing these things made me feel worthy. So over the years, I kept doing them.
I respected my bosses, obeyed the church leaders, and submitted to my husband.
I wanted to be good. I wanted to do things the right way. And from the time I was a small child, I understood that the right way didn’t come from inside me. It came from others.
I was raised to believe that nothing good lived in me. That I was a filthy sinner to my core, and left to my own devices, I was worthy of eternal torment. This was terrifying. And I believed it wholeheartedly from the time I was a small child staring up at my Sunday school teacher.
I learned that my own inner voice was not trustworthy. The heart is deceitful above all things, I read in the Bible. The scriptures told me that a wise man listens to advice. So I got advice about everything. Where...
Calling all writers! Our theme this year is Your Voice, Your Power . The Pride and Joy Foundation soft launched a guest blog summer schedule with the theme Your Voice, Your Power to amplify LGBTQ+ voices by publishing them on our blog and promoting them to our audience. We are excited to continue elevating queer voices with our guest blog series for Fall 2023.
We invite guest writers to pitch their ideas for publication and promotion on our blog Here are some examples of the types of guest blogs for ideas:
LGBTQ+ authors with published books and/or books coming out
You could write your own post about your book and why you wrote it, who inspires you, a bit on the process or you can request our standard list of author questions for an interview type approach. Here are a few examples
Op-Eds & Essay
Advice & Expertise
The 1980s saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ruling the charts, TV viewership soared with the "MAS*H" finale, and high school sweethearts Dave and Cheryl did exactly what society expected them to do - get married, buy a house, and start having kids.
The youngest of two I found myself constantly grappling with a sense of inadequacy. Not quite funny enough, not quite skinny enough, not quite successful enough... not quite enough.
Growing up in a world where conformity seemed essential, I yearned to fit in, imitating my older sister's hobbies and obsessing over pop idols like the New Kids on the Block. However, my pursuit of acceptance often fell short, leading to relentless bullying and a persistent feeling of being not quite right.
It wasn't until seventh grade that I experienced a pivotal moment that challenged societal norms. I met AJ, a confident tomboy who sparked an undeniable connection within me. AJ introduced me to a world I didn’t even know existed. I had never...