Resources for LGBT+ people who moderate or don't drink

June 2020 | 10 minutes

For this year’s Pride month, check out these articles and information about being alcohol free and LGBTQIA+, as well as some recommendations of Instagram accounts to follow.

Pride month 2020 didn’t quite turn out the way many of us expected. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we can’t visit the spaces we normally would, and big gatherings have been cancelled. But that doesn’t mean Pride can’t be celebrated!

Below, we have listed some articles about being LGBTQIA+ and sober or moderating, personal stories from people in recovery, resources for support and information, and some brilliant Instagram accounts of LGBTQIA+ people who don’t drink.

We will definitely have missed lots of brilliant resources – so if you have any extra suggestions for articles, information or social media accounts we should include, please drop us an email.

Stories and articles

COVID-19

How sober queer people are coping with isolation and COVID-19 – them

“It’s more intimate than normal meetings because we have this shared connection around both our addition and identities — plus a lot of us are struggling with the isolation right now.” This piece offers an insight into how some LGBTQIA+ people are coping with alcohol issues and the global pandemic, including through forming community spaces online. Read more.

Queer (and sober) in the time of COVID-19 - LGBTteetotaler

This blog post from LGBTteetotaler has some great suggestions for staying connected during the pandemic. Browse their website for more stories and information, as well as an online community you can join. Read more.


Recovery

My journey as a gay man in recovery – Mountainside blog

“I had years of practice hiding my homosexuality, so hiding how much I was actually drinking on a daily basis was almost second nature.” Kevin tells of his struggles with alcohol and being a gay man. Read more.

To be a lesbian and sober – After Ellen

“No matter where we go or what we do, alcohol is not far behind. Yet we seem to forget those of us that do without it: our sober friends.” This blog explores what it’s like to be a lesbian who doesn’t drink. Read more.


Community and dating

Finding your people when you’re queer and newly sober (or sober curious) – the temper

“Although there are certainly many recovery meetings that cater to queer and trans folk, not everyone’s path includes meetings. If you’re one of those people, making connections with other queer and sober folks can seem impossible.” This piece, by Tracy Murphy, is all about finding your people, and how you can go about that. Read more.

Sober queers for the New Year – Out Front Magazine

“When you take a marginalized community saddled with the shared trauma of having been or being closeted, hate crimes, mass shootings, conversion therapies, and tell them the only place they can be safe and free is in a bar? That’s a cocktail recipe for disaster.” In this piece, Evelyn Evermoore, Denver-based drag queen, shares their struggle with alcohol, and how breaking that habit has changed their life for the better. You can follow Evelyn on Instagram too! Read more.

Gay, sober, and looking for love – the fix

“Connecting in a space that is LGBTQ-focused and sober – like a gay sober dating site – can help people blend both parts of their identity.” This article explains some of the anxieties people might feel when dating sober, and how you can overcome them. Read more.

LGBTI and sober? Here’s how you can socialize on the scene without alcohol – Gay Star News

“The message is clear: There’s no one right way to be sober on the LGBTI scene.” This article shares stories from different people who identify as LGBTI and sober, and offers some suggestions for what you can do if you want to meet new people but don’t want to drink. Read more.

The need for sober LGBTQ spaces – Medium

This piece, by Tris Mamone, explores the need for sober LGBTQ spaces and why, at the moment, those are quite difficult to come by. Read more.

For years, gay bars were a vital refuge – but it’s time we challenged the idea that LGBT spaces are synonymous with drinking – Prospect

“Whilst we can be grateful for the role of gay bars as a safe haven for the community, there is a severe lack of spaces for LGBT people who aren’t looking to drink.” Published last year (2019), this piece argues the case for more LGBTQIA+-friendly spaces that don’t revolve around alcohol. Read more.

Social and sober – boyz

“Lots of people now don’t drink – but we still want to go out and have a choice of what to consume and where to go.” This article features Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda, and Aisha Mirza, founder of Misery, a sober party and mental health safe space aimed primarily at trans and queer people of colour. Read it here.

Sober queer spaces are giving LGBTQ+ people a place to just be – them

“Gay bars have long been a staple of queer communing, organizing, protesting, and of course hooking up, but alcohol-focused environments aren’t ideal for a sizable facet of a community that also faces increased risk of addiction and substance abuse issues.” Although this article is US-focused, it gives a great insight into spaces that don’t revolve around alcohol. It also mentions Queeret, a global movement for queer introverts. Read more.

Instagram accounts

If you’re a fan of colourful, positive doodles about being alcohol-free, Teedoodler’s Instagram is a definite must-follow. You can find out more about the person behind the account in the ‘about me’ story highlight.

Allie K. Campbell (formerly known as Young, Dumb and Sober) has videos about being LGBTQIA+ and sober – for example, how to celebrate Pride 2020 during lockdown! You can follow them on Instagram, or take a look at their YouTube channel.

Sobriety not hangxiety is another Instagram account with positive, motivational quotes and funny memes about stopping drinking. Check it out..

The Gay Sober Instagram account shares a man’s journey with stopping drinking. At the time of writing, he’s almost two years sober! Follow @thegaysober.

Run by make-up artist and hair stylist Flavio, the Sober Babes Club Instagram account is incredibly colourful and positive. They share stories, quotes and memes – all on the subject of sobriety.

Support and information

OutLife is a UK-based health and wellbeing site for LGBTQIA+ people. It has a lot of information, advice and links to further support – especially LGBT-friendly organisations to contact. Check out their section about alcohol and drug support. You can also follow them on Instagram at @lgbtoutlife.

The LGBT Foundation provides information, support and advice for anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. On their website you can find a specific section about substance misuse, which provides information and advice about seeking support.

KinderStrongerBetter is a group of LGBTQ+ community members and professionals in Glasgow who have come together to design an LGBTQ+ alcohol- and drug-related health campaign. On their website you can find information about the LGBTQ+ community and alcohol and drug use, as well as links to further support. Visit the support section of the website here.

On the Gay and Sober website you can find a ‘meeting finder’, which provides information for online recovery support meetings for almost anywhere in the world. Check out the listings for England. They normally run in-person events, too.

Scott Pearson, formerly known as The Boy Who Drank Too Much, has founded Proud and Sober. Its Instagram is full of memes, positivity, information and sober stories. Follow Proud and Sober here, and visit the Proud and Sober website to read stories from members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are sober, and the latest news on Proud and Sober happenings.

Scott has also been hosting weekly Queers without Beers socials during lockdown every Thursday, which are run as a partnership between Club Soda and Proud and Sober. Outside of lockdown, the socials take place across the UK and are run by Club Soda, the LGBT foundation and local organisations. You can follow Queers without Beers on Instagram, and join a virtual social here.

Read more about Club Soda’s Queers Without Beers alcohol-free pop-up bar in this BuzzFeed piece.