#NoTeenShame: This Is What Happens When We Support Teen Parents


That’s all I could think when Gloria Malone (you may know her as TeenMomNYC) uploaded photos from her college graduation.

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Gloria had her daughter Leilani when she was 15. I didn’t know her then, but I know that society isn’t kind to parents in general, let alone those who are parenting before they graduate high school, so I know she had her struggles.

Instead of quietly putting her head down and focusing on just getting through each day, Gloria has used her voice for good. She’s open about her life on her blog, TeenMomNYC.com, and is one of the founders of the #NoTeenShame movement. She’s hosted events for teen mothers to come together and encourage each other and she’s quick to share resources to help them grow happy, healthy families.

Gloria has quickly become one of my closest friends and sheroes over the past few years and the reasons are many: she’s incredibly smart, passionate about equality and justice, and she never ever fails to make me laugh when I need one. She has inspired me so much with her advocacy work (in the span of about three weeks she was on the O’Reilly Factor and in the New York Times discussing the shameful New York City subway ads for teen pregnancy prevention).

I just wanted to use my part of the internet to remind people that it is entirely possible for teen parents to blossom. It should be expected, encouraged, without worrying about whether we’re “glamorizing” teen pregnancy.  Support, not shame, is the key.

“All the hard work does pay off. It really does.”

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Get more information on the #NoTeenShame movement on Tumblr and Twitter.




  1. I love reading stories like these! It is really hard being a teen mom and it’s easy to let your daily struggles get you down, which is why it’s so important that there are people in the world who do speak out for them and can encourage others with their own stories. Thanks for sharing!