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First Name Basis Podcast

Jun 7, 2022

When a family member or friend chooses to come out to you, it is an extremely vulnerable moment for them, and how you respond is so important. 

You may find yourself wondering what should you say that’s affirming and loving — and what should you avoid saying that can be harmful.

This week on the podcast, we have Elena Joy Thurston to help talk us through how we can be better allies to our LGBTQ friends, family and neighbors.

Elena Joy is a member of the LGBTQ community and the executive director and founder of the Pride and Joy Foundation, an organization dedicated to reducing the rate of suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ community by empowering parents and community members with the information and tools they need to be advocates. She also spends a lot of her time giving presentations and workshops about LGBTQ inclusion through her organization Elena Joy Experience.

In this episode, Elena Joy teaches us:

  • Tips about things to say and do when someone comes out to you.
  • Things to avoid when someone comes out to you.
  • What straight people can do to help create safe communities for LGBTQ people.
  • Why Pride Month is important and how families can celebrate.

Having Elena Joy on the podcast to share her insight, wisdom and heart was truly a joy, and I hope you take the time to listen and learn from her as well.


Juneteenth Jubilee

Juneteenth is coming up next month, and we have an exciting program to help you celebrate! Juneteenth Jubilee is our brand-new program that gives you everything you need to have a meaningful Juneteenth celebration dinner.

It includes a cookbook, a cooking show with my dad, a meal planner, reflection questions and more! Trust me, this is something your family is going to want — both for the yummy food and for the impactful conversations. 

The program is available now! So click here to invest in this resource to create a meaningful celebration for your family!

Don’t forget to use the code LOVING15 for $15 off your purchase until 6/13/22!


Send in your Loving Day submissions!

Loving Day is coming up on June 12th, and I want to celebrate with you!

Loving Day is the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that made interracial marriage for heterosexual couples legal in all 50 states, and I want to make an episode about the significance of Loving Day to those of us in interracial relationships. This means everyone — LGBTQ, straight, dating, married — anyone who loves someone who is a different race than their own.

What I need you to do is record a voice memo that includes three things:

  1. Your name
  2. Where you are from
  3. And the answer to one question: What does Loving Day mean to you?

Send the voice memo to with “Loving Day” in the subject line. If you’d like to include a picture, I would love to share your pictures on Instagram on Loving Day.

The deadline for submissions is June 8, 2022.

I can’t wait to hear from you!


Articles, Studies & Podcasts Referenced in the Episode

Elena Joy Thurston’s Instagram account @elenajoyspeaks

Elena Joy Thurston’s Ted Talk “Conversion Therapy Almost Took My Life, Mindfulness Saved It”

Pride and Joy Foundation’s Instagram account @pridejoyfoundation

Pride and Joy Foundation website

Elena Joy Experience website

Pride and Less Prejudice, an organization dedicated to providing access to LGBTQ inclusive books

The Trevor Project

Find your state’s nonprofit LGBTQ advocate group. Many of them are named “Equality (insert the name of your state),” such as Equality Utah, Equality California, etc. 

Check out our LGBTQ Pride bookshelf on the First Name Basis Bookshop. We linked all the books Elena Joy mentioned in the episode there and many more.


Song Credit: “Sleeper” by Steve Adams” and “Dive Down” by VYEN