Every year, June brings a happy Pride Month to queer folks and allies everywhere. For those in recovery, June also presents a unique opportunity to celebrate sobriety. Pride is all about honoring each part of your identity—from your queer self to your sober self. This month, LGBTQIA+ people far and wide are looking forward to a sober Pride. Whether you’re in the LGBTQIA+ community or you’re celebrating as an ally, sobriety brings a new level of enjoyment, clarity, and engagement to Pride. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you have the most positive Pride experience possible during recovery.
As the stigma surrounding sobriety shatters, more and more are stepping forward to create events that cater to those in recovery—and Pride is no exception. Today, there are many resources out there for people that are queer and sober. There are also several pride events that, though not designed specifically for people in recovery, are still sober-supportive. As you plan out your Pride celebrations for the month, be sure to check out sober-friendly events, like:
Pride runs are a fun and active way to celebrate Pride in an alcohol-free environment. Run (or walk) with others that share your commitment to the LGBTQIA+ cause. Pride runs are available at most major cities, but be sure to check for local opportunities if you live in a smaller community. Half marathons, 10K, and 5K distances are all common for Pride runs, so you can find one that suits you.
The past few years have seen the rise of several remote Pride events. Queer meet-ups, Pride trivia nights, and LGBTQIA+ panels and presentations are just some of the virtual offerings for Pride. Since these events are remote, you can safely enjoy them in the comfort of your own space or share them with your allies. For virtual pride events where you can connect with others in the sober community, check out special events hosted by The Phoenix.
Recovering or not, lots of people prefer a more low-key scene during Pride Month. Events like queer book clubs and poetry reading abound during Pride Months. Since these events are a bit more quiet and inconspicuous, they’re often substance-free.
If you can make the trip or live in central cities, there are several larger Pride events for those in sobriety. Collaboratives like Gay & Sober organize Pride celebrations in New York City. These events give those in recovery and their allies a space to safely celebrate LGBTQIA+ identities. There are also some smaller gatherings made just for sober queer folk, particularly in rural areas—and if you can’t find one that works for you, you can always start one yourself!
With a little bit of extra effort, you can create an event that celebrates the queer community while keeping it substance-free. From brunches to queer movie marathons, the possibilities are endless. Feel free to invite allies and others in recovery. If you feel up to it, you can even open it up to others in your community and turn it into a queer and sober meet-and-greet.
Another great way to celebrate Pride while sober? Contributing to queer organizations. If donating or volunteering is in the cards, there are always organizations looking for extra help. From expanding resources for transgender individuals to funding LGBTQIA+ education across the nation, you’ve got lots of fantastic collaboratives to choose from.
Pride is also a great time to spotlight LGBTQIA+ artists and authors. Consider supporting queer creators by buying merchandise, promoting LGBTQIA+ media, and supporting independent artists.
Although sober-friendly Pride events and activities may be a bit more accommodating, you don’t have to strike your city’s standard Pride parade from your itinerary. Here are a few extra tips for managing streamline Pride events while getting the sober support that you need.
In any non-sober space, it’s great to bring an ally along. Your ally can ensure that you feel supported in your goals, help you leave potentially triggering situations, and celebrate queer identities while recognizing your sober successes. It never hurts to have someone who’s got your back to check on you throughout the event.
If you’re planning on attending a Pride event, reach out to your allies. They don’t have to be sober, themselves—they just need to be ready to stick by your side, and, if necessary, slip out early if you don’t feel safe.
If you’re unsure about attending events where alcohol may be present, feel free to bring a non-alcoholic alternative with you. Be aware that not all events will allow you to bring in outside food or drink. However, if possible, sipping a non-alcoholic drink can help you feel more at-ease at crowded events—and with so many delicious alcohol-free beers and mixed drinks, you’ve got lots of tasty options to choose from!
First and foremost, remember the point of Pride is to be proud. It’s a time to celebrate every aspect of your identity. You’re not alone; there is a queer and sober community out there. This Pride, connect with others in your community, find other queer and sober people that share your passion, and enjoy the queer experience—completely sober. You’re sure to make deep connections that last. It’s at the core of our beliefs here at The Phoenix: together, we rise. Have a happy Pride.
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