When we think of Pride, there are a few things that instantly come to mind. We think of support and visibility for LGBTQIA+ individuals, impactful individuals from the Queer community spanning across history, and we also think of the month-long celebration of Pride that happens every June! While celebrating the Queer community during Pride month is a great opportunity to show up and support, it is also a difficult event for many in substance use disorder (SUD) recovery to attend. Because it is a celebration, many Pride events feature a party atmosphere that can be triggering to people in recovery. This can be an extremely difficult time for Queer individuals who are also in recovery. We want everyone to feel like they have the opportunity to celebrate pride, even if you are in SUD recovery! We’re taking some time to dive into a few different ways to celebrate pride while in recovery, keep reading to learn more.

What is Pride, and Why Does it Matter?

Pride month is the annual celebration and commemoration of the LGBTQIA+ community. Starting in the late 1960s, Pride was birthed in honor of the Stonewall Uprising. Starting out as one day, Pride quickly became a month-long celebration centered around empowering the LGBTQIA+ community.

Queer individuals face greater rates of violence, nearly four times more likely than non-LGBTQIA+ people to be victims of violent crime. Being at greater risk of violent victimization and facing prejudice in public and other areas of everyday life has forced LGBTQIA+ individuals to fight shame and social stigma continuously throughout history. Marching in the face of threats and violence, Pride offers an opportunity to do exactly that – take pride in who you are. A celebration, a declaration of intent, a demonstration and an inspiration to the Queer community, pride is a critical part of a larger human rights movement. 

How to Celebrate Pride in Recovery

First, Plan Ahead
Before any holiday, celebration or nationally recognized event that often involves partying it’s important to check in with yourself.

  • Have you thought about what triggers you may need to avoid or cope with during this time?
  • Do you have a support system in place that you can rely on if needed?

Maybe check in with your support team, and reach out to a friend in recovery that you can attend events with! Think about whether or not you may need to leave the event at a certain point, and drive yourself there to make sure you can leave on your own time. It’s important to consider all of these factors before attending so as to set yourself up for an enjoyable event.

Create Your Own Event
Maybe attending Pride events this month seems out of your comfort zone – that’s okay! You can still celebrate in a variety of ways. Hosting your own celebrations, or joining in other recovery-friendly events during Pride is a great way to celebrate in an environment you feel most comfortable in.

Reach out to your community and put the word out, or see if a few close friends would want to stay in and watch the parade being streamed!

Find Volunteer Opportunities
A huge part of celebrating Pride is supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, and there are many ways you can do this. Reach out to local Quuer-focused community organizations and see if they are hosting any volunteer events this month.

Organizations are always looking for a helping hand. If you’re up for it, you can always volunteer to help at your local Pride celebration too!

Take a Step Back
If you are feeling overwhelmed when thinking about celebrating Pride, take a moment. Pride is about being authentic to yourself, which means expressing yourself in the way you feel most comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating Pride due to your personal recovery, you are not obligated to participate! You can embody Pride and take Pride in yourself and your community without attending anything.

Pride is More Than a Celebration

Part of your authentic identity is your SUD recovery. Because of this, it’s important to stay true to yourself and do what you feel is right. Whether this is opting out of Pride celebrations held in bars, or having a friend by your side as you attend events – you get to decide. We urge you to take a little time to consider the best option for yourself at this moment, and move forward with pride in your decision. Most importantly, we encourage you to have fun! However this looks, enjoy Pride month this June and celebrate accordingly!

If You Plan on Attending Pride Events…

Stop in at our booth! We are so excited to be participating in this year’s Twin Cities Pride festival, and we’d love to see you there. We’ll be hanging out with other members of the recovery community, and their respective organizations – and there is always a place for you!


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