Studies have revealed that abuse of alcohol disproportionately affects LGBT+ people. Staying sober while socialising is more common among heterosexual and cisgender people.
UK-based charity Stonewall found a third of lesbian and bisexual women drink three times or more in the week compared to 25% of women in general. The study found that 42% of gay and bisexual men drink three or more times a week, compared to 35% of men in the general population.
According to additional research by the LGBT+ foundation, lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people also binge drink more frequently than heterosexual people.
Furthermore, 47% of transgender people drink at ‘high and potentially problematic levels’, according to Trans Mental Health Study 2012.
Often, LGBT+ people turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism as a result of high levels of harassment and a higher risk of mental health problems. Additionally, it is common for LGBT+ friendly bars and clubs to be the first social spaces in which LGBT+ people feel able to explore their identity around others.
However, if you’re looking for ways to enjoy the LGBT+ social scene whilst staying sober, there are plenty of options to socialise other than opting for a soda at the bar!
International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
The Festival was founded in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde, in his native city. With an emphasis on new or recent international and Irish works with a broadly gay theme or relevance, the Festival has grown to become the largest event of its type in the world. This year, the festival runs from 6-19 May and there is something for everyone. You can enjoy the festival each year by attending a show or by volunteering.
Gaze Film Festival
This international LGBT+ film festival occurs annually and is dedicated exclusively to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer films. Last year, GAZE also operated a walking tour of historic queer Dublin lead by activist and historian Tonie Walsh. The programme is set to be excellent once again this year, taking place in August.
LGBT+ Themed Tour
The National Gallery began running free, LGBT+ themed guided tours this year, exploring the works of LGBT+ artists or work with an LGBT+ theme or relevance. If you’re a fan of paintings, sculptures and other forms of artwork — this could be something for you!
If you’re looking for a safe space to make more LGBT+ friends, BelongTo runs youth groups nationwide where young LGBT+ people can hang out, chat and develop friendships.
There are several LGBT+ groups operating on meetup.com for people to make friends and do everything from go to a cinema trip, get dinner together or go on a hike.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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