If you (or a loved one) are currently struggling with an addiction, or just need some advice on how to cope during Pride Month, you can contact one of our friendly staff for a free consultation, here.
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Pride Month and its Triggers for Addicts
Over the years Pride Month has become a globally recognized event celebrated by both the LGBTQ community and its allies. While Pride was designed to be a time for the queer community to openly protest and celebrate their true identities, it, unfortunately, can be a difficult, and even triggering time for those living with an addiction.
There are many aspects that make Pride Month challenging for those going through their recovery journey. Whether it’s struggling to come out in an unsafe environment, or just being surrounded by substances at events.
When many think of Pride, the first thoughts that come to mind are parades and events that center around partying, alcohol consumption and drug use. Party culture within the queer community has grown to become part LGBT experience for many – and when Pride comes along, it is greatly intensified. For those who are in recovery for their substance addiction, it can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who are still in the early stages of their treatment.
While it may be easy to tell someone with an addiction to just not attend these events, choosing to not partake in the festivities isn’t always an easy decision to make. For an event that is designed to celebrate queer identities, it can be easy to feel left out and excluded when you can’t find a safe space to celebrate. Especially after spending a year in lockdown, many members of the queer community are itching to socialize with their own people.
Pride season can also be a triggering time for marginalized groups within the LGBTQ+ community. Many trans and queer folks who live with an addiction are often victims of discrimination or are still struggling to come out and live as their true selves for fear of their own lives. The transgender community are often a target for mass protests during the month of June from both het/cis and queer groups. A recent example; during Pride 2018 in London England, a TERF group crashed the parade in protest against trans womens’ existence.
Violence and oppression against the trans community continue to be a growing issue socially and politically around the world, and yet Pride isn’t always an inclusive space for them.
So what can we do to make Pride a safe and more inclusive space? The truth is that there is no one size fits all situation, but for organizers and event planners it is important to bear in mind who exactly you are creating a Pride event for. An inclusive Pride begins with an open and honest conversation among all members of the LGBTQ+ communities, especially with marginalized groups and those who want to be able to celebrate without compromising their recovery goals. This involves creating more addict-friendly events, where alcohol and drugs don’t have to take center stage, and where all gender expressions and identities are safely
For more information and resources on the queer experience and addiction, you can visit our LGBT resources page here.
If you (or a loved one) are currently struggling with an addiction, or just need some advice on how to cope during Pride, you can contact one of our friendly staff for a free consultation, here.