On May 4th a very dear friend of ours, Andrea - who teaches a class of 7th graders in New York wrote an email to me about The Pride & Joy Project. One of her students was doing research on LGBTQ people and asked if Toby and I could record and share a video with their class.
In the video Toby and I spoke about the importance of being visible, being out and proud, and the power of being able to see possibility models in the world and in the media (*we cannot take credit for this term, that goes to the one and only Laverne Cox!). The video was brief, but important. I shared how I wished that I could have seen 2-Mom families and genderqueer people in the media when I was a kid --- I wished I could have known it was going to be OK when I came out and grew up. To have a project as important and as special as The Pride & Joy Project would have been life changing, especially as a young queer kid.
Ms. Andrea's class viewed the video and loved it. We heard rave reviews from her, a big heartfelt thank you by email and we were so happy to have helped. Little did we know that another thank you was on it's way.
This hand crafted Thank You came in the form of a BOOK. Not a single card, but a BOOK complete with pages and pages of handwritten notes from the 7th graders. Here are some of the messages we received in the book:
"Keep working hard for what you believe in" - Alex
"Thank you for inspiring me, also keep up the good work" - Joshua
"Thank you for being who you are and being your self and noticing people being who they are. You now have made one of the biggest impacts on my life and my friends as well." - Frankie, Malakai, and Jakey.
"Thank you so much for spreading awareness like this! Being bi myself I really appreciate it" - Michaela
"One of my friends cried because her parents disapproved, thanks for inspiring her" - Oliver
"Thanks you made me more confident with my own sexuality. I appreciate it" - Edison
"Thank you for giving us an inspirational speech and spreading awareness throughout the school" -Simona
"Thanks so much for inspiring us to be true to ourselves" - Sabrina