This year’s Denver Sober Pride – The Phoenix June 15 7-11p
We all know Pride Weekend is like gay Saint Patrick’s Day when it comes to drugs, alcohol and general debauchery. No judgement – debauchery is fun. But for those of us who don’t choose to imbibe or for those of us who are struggling to stay sober, Pride can be a huge trigger. Rather than avoiding Pride altogether, embracing Pride sober can make you feel more engaged, more proud, and more focused on the true purpose of coming together as a community (spoiler alert: that purpose is not rainbow jello-shots.)
Pride, as we know, began as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969. As we also know, alcohol companies see big dollar signs at Pride – beer and vodka brands like Miller Brewing and Smirnoff sponsor floats, performances, parties, after parties, and after-after parties. While Pride might be a party now, Pride started as a riot.
Excessive alcohol consumption and the nonstop carefree hedonism can both distract from the inherently political statement of Pride, and also hides the fact that many members of our community (approximately 25% versus 9% of the cis-het population according to a recent study) suffer from substance abuse.
So, how do you survive AND have fun at Pride without falling (or jumping) off the wagon?
Use the (sober) buddy system
Bring a sober friend to the event with you – they don’t have to be sober or in recovery, they can just decide to be sober for a night with you. Even the most daunting tasks are easier when you’ve got someone by your side.
Check out a meeting
Before you head to Pride, attend an AA, harm-reduction or support group meeting and get some support from your sober family. If you can, check in with your sponsor. Spending some time to get re-grounded before facing the chaos of Pride weekend will help remind you that you’re not alone.
Look f*cking dope
When you look bomb dot com, you exude confidence. Spending a little more time priming pays off majorly. Plus, it always feels good to end the night looking as fly as you did when you started, and it feels even better to wake up the next morning fresh as a daisy and hangover free.
Dance your ass off
Pride parties are parties – whether you’re drinking or doing drugs, it’s still a party dammit so have some fun! Dance like crazy, and better yet ask a cutie to dance. Smooch on a rooftop. Watch the sunrise. Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean the party has to be lame.