25 Nov 2012

Sober Spaces and Accessibility in the Queer Community


I am a queer Chican@ Immigrant and a chronically ill person with able bodied privilege. 

Being sober means that I rarely ever go out to clubs or events unless I can drag along a sober friend. I have gone out before without that support and I end up feeling overwhelmed and panicky. I need at least a friend with me that will agree to not drink or use substances while we spend time together. In the past this has saved me by knowing that I have someone to be accountable to (I will stay sober) and that I have someone that understands when I feel tempted or miss drinking and using. 

Tonight I went dancing. My body missed it so much. I did my awkward shuffle, my cumbia inspired body movements and let my arms relax into the music. It was 90’s dance night at a small club. On the dance floor were awkward people trying to dance while balancing drinks on their hands, bad lip synching, or standing in the middle of the dance floor and talking loudly over the music. It was refreshing to see so many people dancing. We left right as it got crowded, our strategy for limiting time around drunk people.

I went with my sober white friend, I joke that she is the only person in the world that wears crocs but she isn’t. She is however one of the few people I really spend time with in Seattle. Seattle is very white and although the people of color community here is tight, most of us are introverts spend a lot of time alone and only hang when at events centered around alcohol or drugs.

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