For LGBTQ+ people in recovery, Pride Month can be isolating, difficult and even triggering, since many Pride events go hand-in-hand with drinking culture. That does not mean celebrating without drinking is impossible though. 

This year, COVID-19 is adding an extra obstacle for celebrating Pride, but we’re finding there are ways around that too. Some parades and in-person events are canceled, but many have been postponed, which means there’s still something to look forward to. We’re covering sober ways to celebrate Pride virtually and in-person so that when postponed events resume, you’ll have a guide. 

Sober Pride Festivities that are Pandemic Friendly

Attend a Virtual Pride Event

There are a ton of amazing virtual Pride events happening this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. Kick back at home, grab your favorite mocktail or tea and check out one of these amazing events, including Global Pride 2020 on Saturday, June 27, or the virtual New York City Pride event, headlined by Dan Levy and Janelle Monae on Sunday, June 28. Indy Pride has a host of virtual events scheduled. Everything from a traditional Pride celebration to “pet pride” is offered. 

A quick Google search for “virtual pride events” will pull up a long list of other options as well! 

Host Your Own Virtual Book Club

It’s possible you’ll still be sheltering in place this month, so consider hosting a virtual book club event and reading a book by an LGBTQ+ author. Check out Chani Nicholas’ latest book You Were Born for This if you’re into astrology or Samantha Irby’s newest collection of funny and edgy essays, Wow, No Thank You

Powell’s Books in Washington DC has a ton of articles and Q&A’s with LGBTQ+ authors. You could choose one of their books, read the articles together, and discuss. 

Host a Virtual Arts and Crafts Night

Handmade signs, awesome shirts, and homemade accessories are a Pride month staple. You don’t have to put these fun-filled, bond-worthy experiences to the side just because the local parade is likely postponed. Instead, you can host your own virtual Pride-themed arts and crafts night. Use Zoom or Google Hangouts and invite your friends for a rainbow-themed craft night. You may not be in the same space, but you can still work together and show each other your finished product. 

Attend a Virtual Author Talk

Coordinate with your friends to attend a virtual author talk. You can set up a Zoom call with everyone and the coordinator can pull up the virtual event and share their screen. Boston Pride is hosting a virtual author talk with Dr. Eric Cervini on Friday, June 5th. 

Things to do When In-Person Pride Resumes

Many cities are postponing rather than canceling parades and other in-person pride activities. We want to honor that time too, even though it might be a few months away. Keep these sober ideas to celebrate Pride in mind for a later date.

Support LGBTQ+ Writers at a Literary Reading

Queer writers don’t always get the recognition they deserve in mainstream media. What better way to celebrate Pride month than by attending a literary reading supporting queer writers? There are many bookstores, libraries, and college campuses out there that host readings and panels centered around LGBTQ+ literature, especially during Pride Month. 

Participate in the Pride Parade

Marching in the parade or standing on the float is a fun way to partake in a Pride event sober. If you are participating through your workplace or alumni organization, they might even require that all participants are sober.

Celebrate Queer Filmmakers at a Film Screening

Just as queer writers don’t always get the recognition they deserve in the mainstream, queer filmmakers often face the same struggle. There are often film screenings that center LGBTQ+ artists during Pride Month, and you can usually meet the screenwriters, directors, and filmmakers involved in creating the movie.

Volunteer at a Local LGBTQ+ Community Center

There are so many local community centers out there that provide support services for LGBTQ+ teenagers and youth. Volunteering your time to organize field trips or mentor a teenager is a great way to make a positive impact not only during Pride Month but all year round. This is another instance where you not only can participate sober but you are actually required to be sober.

Support Queer Comedians at a Comedy Show

Attending a comedy show that centers queer comedians is a great way to celebrate Pride Month, whether you choose to go with a whole group of friends or by yourself. That being said, comedy shows are often held in bars, so make sure to do your research before choosing a show and take a crew of sober friends for support.

Find a Sober LGBTQ+ Group

There are so many queer sober groups out there on sites like Meetup and platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And Pride Month is the perfect time to find your sober LGBTQ+ crew. 

Throw Your Own Sober Pride Party

If you live in a remote area that doesn’t have a ton of sober-friendly Pride events available, consider planning and throwing your own sober Pride party! Host your party during the day, especially if you are inviting people who are not sober, and consider giving your event a specific theme to steer the focus away from just partying. Tell your attendees ahead of time that it is a dry event, and make sure to have plenty of fun non-alcoholic beverages available.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Pride Month, know that it is possible to have fun and stay sober while celebrating your identity. And coronavirus can’t stop the party.