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Community Team

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Pride is known for being a summer festival of rainbows, laughter, great costumes, and a large celebration of identity – specifically, identities of people who are LGBTQ2SIA+/GSRM (gender, sexuality, and romantic minorities) and our allies. While our experiences and expressions may bring us together in joy, we, as a group, also go through some inequitable challenges. This year, Eugene Pride is recognizing some of those disproportionalities, while offering unique and culturally responsive support.

Sober Circle

When I think of celebrations as a person in active recovery, I first think of all the old habits I can't partake in anymore. “Wouldn't it be great if…” However, for people like me, substance use and process/behavioral addictions (such as gambling) turned innocent fun into a lifelong journey of recovery.

With the Sober Circle at Eugene Pride, we seek to shift that narrative. What if we could create a space that celebrates our paths to health? What if your sober date was a cause for applause, versus a fear of relapse. This year, we are offering GSRM individuals a place to celebrate who they are and where they are in that discovery.

There are more of us than a person may realize. According to the 2021 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, (across the board) LGB persons significantly experienced substance use disorder more than their heterosexual counterparts. Why is this? Though not known definitively, it has been theorized that social targeting, group trauma (from coping with discrimination and prejudice), and self-medicating may be major influences.

Creating safe, entertaining, and influential zones gives people a new voice of hope, recovery, and an outlook of excitement for our future.

Faith and Spirituality Zone

Another area where GSRM individuals have experienced hardship has been regarding faith. It is not unusual for protesters to harass LGBTQ2SIA+ groups based on what is picked and chosen from varying religious texts.

Eugene Pride seeks to reclaim part of this spiritual space – with a welcoming and affirming interfaith collaboration. “We see you, we hear you, you are valid, and you are worthy of spiritual support” being the constant message to counter the negativity that may be forthcoming from external voices.

Family and Pet Zones

Eugene Pride is not just for adults in the throes of conflict, especially in our current political climate; it’s also for youth and family. In the most recent Trevor Project study, our youth spoke up about experiencing discrimination in society, schools, and even at home. This often leads to increased concerns for their mental health, including symptoms of depression and suicidal ideations.

At Eugene Pride, we want to bring joy back to the identities we represent. Whether celebrating the younger individuals in our lives or the families of an adult who is GSRM, having a zone full of fun and activity will reduce stigma and increase LGBTQ2SIA+ joy.

Want to get involved in Eugene Pride?

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