From the SHARE By Paulo Murillo
A DIFFERENT WORLD
“I didn’t celebrate Pride until I got sober. I got involved in conventions, roundups, and pageants. I was Miss Sobriety 2012. I was a drag queen before I came out as trans. Every Pride was about visibility in the community and being a part of. Coming back after my relapse was a different Pride for me this time. I was in the Van Ness Recovery House and we were on lockdown because of COVID. I experience Pride every day now. It’s a different world when your visibility is something that matters. It was tough living two lives. I was scared to tell people my truth. It wasn’t until I was in the throes of a relapse that I actually got the courage to come out as transgender. I always knew. I grew in the Bronx in a Catholic family in the 80s. It was the AIDS epidemic, so there was fear for a feminine boy. Fortunately, I came out here to a place that was educated and knowledgeable about transitioning. If I didn’t get the love and support from the Van Ness Recovery House, I don’t think I would be the woman I am today.”
—Delilah, sober since June 10, 2020.
“I remember not wanting to be around people during Pride celebrations when I was in my active addiction. I lived in Arizona, so it was always hot during Pride. I never celebrated it. I was always home alone. I’m a little anxious and uncomfortable about this year. This will be my first sober Pride. I got sober in 2020, so there was no Pride celebration that year. It’s a whole new pride this time and I get to walk as a member of society who contributes to society instead of taking from it. My level of pride is not just that I have a supportive and loving family who supports everything about me, from my HIV status to me being a gay man. I also get to look at people in the eye and have a level of pride in myself. All I know about this year is that I was asked to march in the WeHo Pride parade and I’m showing up. I’ve been isolated for so long and I’m ready for something new.”
—Curtis Blue Nunez, sober since July 8, 2020
BEING OF SERVICE
“I stay sober by putting a wall between me and my disease, that’s what I do. I stay busy. I don’t go to parties where there is alcohol and drugs and crazy sex. I keep my distance from that and try to keep it as sane as possible. I did my time partying and now I sustain from it. I work as an overnight staff at a recovery house, and it is important that I stay sober. The wall that I put between me and using—are 12 step recovery and being of service. Getting rid of resentments is also big for me. I’m good today. I keep my life simple. I’m mellow. I have friends who are close to my 12-step program, and we go out to dinner. Before, I wanted to go to a psych ward. I was suicidal. I’d go to a bathhouse Friday night and leave Sunday morning. I was depressed, lonely, bitter, resentful, judgmental, and today all that is gone. Life is good.”
—Timothy Mack, sober since May 29, 2020.