June is Pride month. It’s an annual celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. We celebrate our survival, our right to live with the same freedoms as anyone else. We show our unity and strength, and we remind everyone that we still have progress to make when it comes to equal rights.
This year, gathering in large groups isn’t possible in most states due to the coronavirus. And yet, it’s still essential to celebrate Pride and connect with our community—especially if we’re experiencing or recovering from addiction. Let’s take a look at local Pride celebrations, virtual Prides, and how to find sober support if you’re LGBTQIA+.
Unfortunately, Baltimore Pride has been canceled, and it hasn’t been rescheduled. According to the Washington Blade, organizers are hoping to reschedule it for a weekend in late August or September. The Baltimore Pride website will have more details when they become available.
Annapolis has canceled its in-person Pride event, but it’s holding a virtual one on June 27 at 4:00 p.m. You can dance and participate from your home. Annapolis Pride is also inviting people to turn their homes into “floats” and show off their Pride outfits. The theme is Pride Inside and Out, and you can learn more on its Facebook event page.
OTHER VIRTUAL PRIDE CELEBRATIONS
Annapolis’ virtual Pride is a part of a larger Global Pride happening online on June 27. It will be a 24-hour livestream featuring organizations from around the world, speeches, and music. You can learn more on the Global Pride website.
Lambda Literary is celebrating Pride month with a series of online readings. The events are pay-what-you-can and include readings and discussions from Wilson Cruz, Samantha Irby, Nico Tortorella, Ryan Jamaal Swain, and Nicole Byer.
Trans Pride Seattle is hosting an online event from Jun 26-28. Its events include workshops and a trans film festival. You can learn more at the Trans Pride Seattle website.
These are just a few of the virtual pride events happening online. The Washington Post has a guide here and you can also find more events here. Although it’s not the same as being at a live Pride event, attending a virtual Pride can help you feel connected to the larger community and know that you’re not alone.
Finding Sober Support
One of the reasons Pride is so important is that it’s a reprieve from the stigma and discrimination many of us face in our day-to-day lives. This stigma is one of the reasons members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience substance use disorder (addiction) at a higher rate than others. Research has been somewhat limited, but one study found that lesbian, bisexual, and gay adults were more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to have used an illicit drug.
Obviously, more research needs to be done to have a better understanding of the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. One of the challenges that gender and sexual minorities (GSM) face when seeking treatment is that its difficult to find other people with a similar background. While any support is helpful, it can feel isolated when others don’t share the same challenges you have, such as coming out to your family or dealing with discrimination at school or work.
How do you find sober support that meets your needs? One way is to look for sober spaces and events for the LGBTQIA+ community. In Baltimore, the GLBT community center hosts a range of events, including support groups for trans men and women, a support group for women of color, and support groups for teens and young adults. The GLBT community center also hosts two AA meetings and a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
You can also find sober support online. Facebook groups can be an excellent source of support. One group to consider is LGBTteetotalers, which is a secret Facebook group that you can request to join here.
Another source for support is New Life Addiction Counseling and Mental Health Services in Pasadena, MD. It offers outpatient treatment for those experiencing addiction to alcohol or drugs. Its treatment includes education and therapy to help you manage the challenges you face as an LGBTQIA+ person.
New Life specializes in working with people who have a dual diagnosis. This means you’re experiencing addiction along with a mental health issue like anxiety or depression. New Life also offers opiate detox.
Paying for treatment can be a challenge. To help, New Life accepts most commercial insurance plans and Maryland Medicaid.
You deserve an amazing life. If you need help overcoming an addiction, contact New Life today.