I’m grateful to live in a world where #sober is actually a thing. Resources and community are just a hashtag away. Take that an inclusive step further, and you’ll find communities and pages also attached to hashtags like #gayandsober, #soberlesbian, and #transsober. This kind of visibility helps queer sober folks on Instagram find each other. In fact, we’re part of a growing group of people who celebrate multiple types of Pride. This thriving online community has also helped me in my own journey in discovering where I am on the LGBTQ+ spectrum: bisexual.
While I’ve always been open about my fluid sexuality, I didn’t think I was “bisexual enough,” meaning I didn’t think that my dating history had enough women in order for me to “qualify” as bisexual. That’s just one example of the internalized biphobia that I’m working through. I’m finally learning that there is no need to qualify for a sexuality or gender identity.
Until very recently, bi folks had little to no representation in media and Hollywood. We were usually depicted in films as people who need to pick a side or haven’t really come out of the closet, yet. Now, with shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Brooklyn 99, the High Fidelity reboot, and more, bi folks are finally being seen. These shows offer much-needed insight and nuance to what it’s like to be bisexual. Hashtags like #bisexual and #bipride also helped me find resources and people to connect with in the same way I found my digital sober fam. Following queer sober folks on Instagram has been such a great way to enhance that digital sober experience.
Here’s a list of amazing queer sober folks to add some Pride to your newsfeed.
Tracy Murphy is always the first person that comes to mind when I think “LGBTQ+ and sober”. Their blog, LGBTeetotaler is more than just a brilliantly clever name; it serves as an important LGBTQ+ inclusive resource for folks in recovery. Tracy proudly uses their voice to advocate for all marginalized communities.
Shari Hampton is a San Diego-based event producer. She provides holistic spaces that specialize in healing and supporting sober and sober curious women of color. She also “serves up” some realness in her legendary IG videos by speaking candidly about what it’s like to be a queer, sober, Black woman.
Jacen Zhu wears all forms of recovery on his sleeve. He’s an HIV+ sex worker in recovery from meth addiction. He’s also the spokesperson for PrEP Squad, a campaign that’s dedicated to promoting sexual wellness among all men who love men. He was recently featured in this BuzzFeed story, which highlights how meth is often used as a weapon against queer men on color.
Sydnee Washington is an NYC-based comedian who turned her recovering party girl story into a one-woman show called Death of a Bottle Girl. She co-hosts UnOfficial Expert podcast with Marie Faustin and Comedy at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. She’s also known for her annoyingly flawless skin.
Jes Valentine has as many job titles as she has Instagram handles. She’s an amazingly talented tattoo artist and owner of Haven Studio in Brooklyn. Jes is also 50% of the Seltzer Squad podcast. She and her artist fiance, Cameron, post super spicy couples pics that are worth the follow alone!
Foster is a queer, nonbinary trans author who lives in Portland, Oregon. Their book, Shine of the Ever, was listed as one of Oprah’s Best LGBTQ+ books of 2019. They also co-wrote American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It with Ryan Hampton. Foster developed, wrote, and hosted two seasons of a leading recovery podcast called “Addiction Unscripted,”. There’s not enough room to discuss all of the powerful work Foster has done for the queer sober community.
Daniel Novoa is a Florida-based yoga teacher who loves fruit. Like, he seriously LOVES fruit, y’all. His posts are usually a mix of yoga, motivational quotes, and you guessed it…fruit! He’s traveled the world and has the pics (and handstands!) to prove it.
Aaron Rose quite literally does it all. In addition to being sober, he’s an outspoken advocate for recovering from toxic masculinity. He’s a public speaker who uses a unique mix of restorative justice, neuroscience, metaphysics, and meditation to restore cultural wellness in the workplace and beyond.
Pat Regan in an NYC-based stand-up comedian. He’s the co-host of Seek Treatment with Cat Cohen. Check out their hilarious and educational video on the oh-so-confusing American healthcare system. Listen to him share his recovery journey as a guest on the podcast, Relatively Healthy.
Lance Hart is an award-winning adult entertainer who passionately advocates for bisexuality and for folks in recovery. He started a support group called Sober Porners that pops up at the AVNs and XBIZ Awards (Think the Oscars and Golden Globes…but for porn). He’s also a board member for FreeSpeech Coalition, a non-profit whose mission is to protect the rights and freedoms of the adult industry.
Heidi N. Dix is a Midwest drag queen who moved to Manhattan to werk. She makes her own clothes, too, henny! Heidi credits sobriety for upping her fashion game, citing that a drink at the club in NYC is the same price as a yard of fabric. Can you say #iconic?
Melissa Febos is the author of Whip Smart (a memoir about her experiences with heroin while navigating New York City’s underground dominatrix world), Abandon Me (a book of essays on love, art, and identity), and the forthcoming Girlhood (an essay collection that explores the patterns that young women form in childhood).
Marti Cummings is a drag queen and politician who’s running for NYC Council District 7. They just celebrated 9 years of sobriety with this beautiful post on Instagram, “I was a shell of a person who could not exist without alcohol or drugs. One day at a time for 9 years by the grace of god I’ve not picked up a drink or a drug. I am forever grateful for this life beyond my wildest dreams”. Check out their weekly events in New York City and online.
Yves Mathieu is a model, musician, and activist who was kicked out of high school for having face tattoos. He passionately advocates on behalf of people of color, queer kids, and trans women of color. Listen to his song, “How to Get High Without Drugs” while scrolling through his inspirational IG feed.
Gay & Sober began as a private Facebook group in 2009 that has since grown into an annual week-long pride celebration in New York City. They also provide free, monthly LGBTQ+ programming. Follow them for the community, pride, and continuous support of the #gayandsober movement!
Chicago’s rehab center, The Gateway Foundation, acknowledges the studies that show that LGBTQ+ folks are two to three times more likely to struggle with substance use. In an effort to help our community, they launched a program called Out and Sober. The Grapevine also combined this anthology of essays called Sober & Out. There has also been an influx of sober queer spaces popping up in the form of cafes and mixers.
There are many more folks like us out there and online. If you want to connect with people IRL, check out your local chapter of Queer Introverts. Non-profits like The Center and PFLAG also have local chapters in most cities with in-person and online support groups.