"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.
As a public speaker, her sexuality opened a lot of doors for her. Our society is becoming much more open to hearing a diverse set of voices, and the queer experience is a universal thing - the impact it creates is uniquely impactful for all audiences.
Everyone knows what it's like to feel different and not know why. Everyone knows what it's like to have to "come out" to their family about something, whether it's a different political party or changing their college major or getting a divorce from a beloved son-in-law. Everyone has had to "come out", just maybe not around their orientation or gender.
Elena Joy Thurston wants to share with you the magic of it all. That's why she's hosting a fundraiser for the Pride and Joy Foundation, KEYNOTE QUEERS. A six-week course for LGBTQ+ people where you can learn all about the ins and outs of public speaking.
Once a week, you'll get a chance to work with Elena and her speaker coach to help you develop a ten-minute talk that you can use to build your speaker reel. You will be learning about the whole business - your bios, headshots, speaker one-sheets and more, it will all be discussed and reviewed during the course.