The Substance of Queer Joy

Storytelling & Community Building Gathering


Sat, October 14, 2023

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT


Minneapolis Central Library

300 Nicollet Mall

Doty Board Room: Second Floor

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

United States



How do we create spaces to joyfully connect and explore each other while avoiding the harms that unchecked substance use can cause? What’s our vision for a future that prioritizes connection and the thriving of our communities, AND emphasizes healing benefits and harm reduction for people who choose to use? This conversation is nuanced, contradictory and challenging- and we’re here for it! There’s history here- drugs and alcohol have both helped us to connect and have been a source of harm. FACTS: The use of drugs and alcohol is not inherently bad. Queer people have found each other in bar spaces for a long time. Drugs and alcohol use have directly and indirectly harmed so many LGBTQIA+ folks. The alcohol industry and forces of substance legalization are such powerful influences. Balance with substance use can be helpful and healing, leading to freedom on dance floors, deep conversations, and mental health improvement. There are so many considerations, and no one right way to address these issues. Folks who choose to use and those who choose sobriety can both become isolated, for different reasons. Queer people have higher substance use rates because of mental health issues arising from social trauma, family and religious trauma, panicky / phobic laws and politicians, and cultural stigma. Substances can be helpful when healing from depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma symptoms; they can also be the cause of harm and some of these symptoms. We see hope in the increasing trend (despite bans!) of drag brunches, library drag story hours, drag shows on TV and more. The euphoric feeling of finding your people is now accessible globally, intergenerationally, and outside of bar culture. We don’t want the bars or the substances to go away, and we want there to be other options for folks. More than ever- given that queer culture is getting so commodified- we need to build deeper connections with each other. Join us October 14 for this invigorating conversation!

TICKETS Selected during registration

IN-PERSON: Free / Donation Based