OUT in all boroughs for Pride

by Beth Miller

SpeakOUT is ALL about putting a face on recovery, about combating the stigma of being in recovery from addiction, and about coming out as being clean AND queer. What better venue to show our faces than at all of New York City's Pride parades and festivals? Setting up a table full of newsletters, funky pencils and candy, we spoke to hundreds of you while putting removable SpeakOUT tattoos on your triceps and thighs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. In Manhattan, we marched with the Clean and Sober contingent with placards that proclaimed slogans like "INTERVENTIONS NOT INCARCERATION!" and "I KNOW WHO I WOKE UP WITH THIS MORNING!" Did you see us? Better yet, were you with us?

Since we know that addictions don't kill in Manhattan only and recovery is definitely bubbling up everywhere, SpeakOUT is trying to reach all of our LGBT brothers and sisters in recovery from every part of this city and state. That's why when LAGIC, the Lesbian and Gay Issues Committee of DC37 (City Workers Union), invited us to come to their outstanding "Our Future in Action; A New Beginning Conference" in June, we wouldn't have missed the opportunity to be there. We wanted to introduce the SpeakOUT message to the queer city workers who were also learning about financial planning, HIV awareness, and Transgender sensitivity. That's also why SpeakOUT attended OUT In Long Island's Fit2BLiving Fair- a day of holistic healing, self-defense, and addiction workshops aimed at nurturing the health of our community and building strong connections among the 20-something plus LGBT crowd on Long Island.

SpeakOUT wants to organize every individual from any community that cares about the lives of LGBT people in recovery. We do this by having people in all our communities write articles for this newsletter, Clean and Queer. We do this by having a big ol' Pride party with you and your loved ones in places like The Joyce Kimer Park in the Bronx. And we can do this by bringing our Speaker's Bureau to the clients or staff at YOUR organization to discuss oppression, addiction and recovery. Next time you see SpeakOUT, join us to help our community celebrate recovery and improve the lives of LGBT people with addictions.