Why LGBTQ people need dedicated non-drinking venues:
  • Twenty to twenty-five percent of gay men and lesbians are heavy alcohol users, compared to 3-10% of the heterosexual population, (CSAT, 2003). 
  • Many people, including LGBTQ people, are on medications that can’t be taken with alcohol in the system. 
  • LGBTQ people who practice religion exist, and some faiths ban the use of alcohol or drugs. 
  • LGBTQ people under the drinking age exist. 
  • Some people are just not comfortable drinking, and the only “gay spaces” being places that encourage drinking and use of drugs excludes them. 

I have a FB group called Substance Free LGBT for people who want to talk about things like addiction, age, or religion in the LGBTQ community, drinking culture and how it’s affected and excluded us, and to plan meetups (currently just in the NYC area) to places like bookstores, ice cream shops, etc. All ages that are old enough for Tumblr/FB (aka 13+) welcome! 

As a child I was taught to believe addicts are somehow “bad people.” However, now that I am white-knuckling through my own sobriety and recovery, I am finding these so-called “bad people” are my soulmates. Addicts are remarkable people. Addicts fight a war within themselves every single day. Addicts are stereotyped and discriminated against. Addicts are beaten down and made to believe they are weak. With all odds against them, addicts do live healthy lives in recovery, and for that, I am grateful.
Dear Addict

Dear addict,
Dear alcoholic,
Dear meth head,
Dear crack whore,
Dear anyone struggling with addiction,

I am writing you this letter
in the hopes that you someday come to know
just how beautiful you really are.

I mean,
has anyone ever told you
just how much you deserve to heal?
Has anyone ever said to you,
“My God, my God,
even with those track marks,
even with those sunken, sullen eyes,
even with that tired heart,
I am so glad that you are still here.”

Dear addict,
Did you know that you are
not a bad person even when you use?
Did you know that just because
your problems are more obvious,
it does not make you any more different?

Dear addict,
Dear leech on society,
Dear open wounds,

Do not feel like an infection
just because your soul
is so inflamed.
Do not pick your skin tonight.
Do not tell yourself you are worthless
even after stealing all of your mother’s
money from her change purse.

Do not plan your funeral on the street
next to the subway because
you do not have to die tonight!
Because I know those dirty, blistered feet
just need to rest, and they can rest here.

Close your eyes.

Dear addict,
I love you.
Dear addict,
You are not your problems.
Dear addict,
I’ve seen you rise once before.
Dear addict,
You have a future.

Dear addict,
look now to the mirror.
Never have I seen a sewer rat
with such hopeful eyes before.
Never have I seen a piece of garbage
with such a loving, beautiful family.

Dear addict,
Do you see what I am seeing?

Dear human,
you are worth every single hour you will spend
recovering.
You are brighter than any star
you were born from.
You are more loved than your
aching, broken heart leads you to believe,
more than you can even imagine right now.

Dear mother, father, brother, sister, lover, best friend,
Do it for yourself.
Do it because you deserve the treatment.

Patiently yours,
Sobriety

Recovery is a conscious choice. It’s not something brought about by repeat hospital visits and pills and forced therapy sessions. Those things only supplement it. But what recovery really is, is a conscious choice to wake up tomorrow and want to live. It’s a choice to drive across a bridge and not want to jump into the water, but to admire the view.
—  anonymous