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

June 2021 | 13 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 2021 is a little different this year, with many of the bigger celebrations cancelled or scheduled to take place a later this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

How I’m Learning to Be a Black, Sober, and Sex-Positive Lesbian

"For years, I had waited to confirm my gender and sexuality but, because of the alcohol, I can barely remember any of it. It truly took away the parts of my youth that I was most excited to explore as a young Black, queer woman." In this piece, Nia explores and reflects on the ways in which their alcohol consumption impacted their relationship with sex, sexuality and themself as a Black lesbian. Read more. (Please note: this piece contains trigger warnings for vivid descriptions of getting drunk.)

Sobriety Forced Me to Own My Non-Binary Identity—Especially to My Kids

"Through my recovery, I’m getting to know the truest version of me: the sober, nonbinary me." Amber talks about their recovery journey, how stopping drinking brought the discomfort they felt about their own body out into the open, and how they navigate their non-binary identity around their young children. Read more. You can read even more from Amber here, including their advocacy work and raising a trans child. (Please note: the second piece contains trigger warnings for abuse.)

I Didn’t Know I Was Trans Until I Got Sober

"I am now approaching eight years sober and clean, and it’s been six-and-a-half years since I announced the truth of who I am." Finlay started drinking at the age of thirteen to hide the growing discomfort he felt about his changing body. Many years later, stopping drinking made him realise he was trans. Read more here, and follow Finn on Instagram.


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.

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.

Queer House Party have been lighting up people's living rooms throughout lockdown with their amazing virtual parties. Though they're not specifically alcohol-free parties, many of the participants and DJs are sober, and they ask that everyone who joins the events is respectful of that.

Served Up Sober is a space for the support for women of colour who are sober and sober curious, founded by Shari Hampton.

Looking for an LGBTQIA+-friendly, alcohol-free café in Edinburgh? The Greenwood Kafe might be just what you're looking for. Check out their Instagram here, which also features artwork from queer artists they display in the café!

Valentine Darling's Instagram (aka @recovery.disco) is a colourful, educational and lovely account to follow. A self-described 'sobriety fanatic', their page is definitely worth a follow.

Support and information

OutLife is a UK-based health and wellbeing site for LGBTQIA+ people, brought to you by LGBT Hero. It has a lot of information, advice and links to further support – especially LGBT-friendly organisations to contact. 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.

The Outside Project is a London LGBTIQ+ community shelter, centre and domestic abuse refuge helping those within the LGBTIQ+ community who feel endangered, who are homeless, ‘hidden’ homeless and feel that they are excluded from services due to historical and present prejudice in society and in their homes. Follow their Instagram to keep up to date with their work and how you can support them.

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.

Queers without Beers is a community set up by Club Soda, organising social events and online community. 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.