February is LGBT History Month in the UK. It is also Black History Month in the US – we swap over in October. We are featuring stories from the queer community about people and organizations that help people change their drinking in different ways. We are featuring a conversation that Club Soda co-founder Dru had back in October’s Mindful Drinking Festival with the fabulous Dr Valerie Mason-John. Valerie is an author, teacher, and mindfulness practitioner who happens to be both black and queer. So, you know, that’s a double win for our global community’s history months. Their conversation about mindfulness as a tool for changing problem drinking is enlightening.
Who is Dr Valerie Mason-John?
Dr Valerie Mason-John has been practising mindfulness for over 30 years. They are the co-creator of Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery and co-author of Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teaching to Overcome Addiction. They were listed in the Gay Times article in 2021 as one of the 10 Black LGBTQ people that you should really know about. Known as Queenie at the beginning of their career, Valerie is an award-winning author of over 20 books. Notably, they contributed to the first books that documented African and Asian Lesbians in Britain. They are also a founding facilitator of Dr Gabor Mate’s compassionate Inquiry and the current president of the international Buddhist Recovery Network. This organisation promotes Mindfulness and Buddhism as a complementary approach working with addiction and recovery. As you’ll hear from this podcast, they’re passionate about helping people recover from addiction using the transformational wisdom that mindfulness can bring.
What is LGBT History Month?
LGBT History Month is a month-long celebration of the queer community. It was created primarily to promote visibility, equality and diversity for all. 2022 sees the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March in the UK back in 1972. It’s an opportunity for everyone to be open about their sexuality in a supportive environment. At Club Soda, we believe that being able to live as your authentic self allows for positive, long-lasting change. This includes addressing issues such as problem drinking.
How Club Soda supports the LGBT Community
We’re welcoming of everyone, no matter what race, ethnicity, sexuality, or gender. When you enter the Club Soda community, we ask you to come as you are.
Queers Without Beers is a series of alcohol-free LGBTQI+ social events and an online community set up by the founders of Club Soda. We’re now a registered charity that encourages social meetings in a space where being sober and queer is completely normal, and the pressures of being out and drunk are replaced with making friends and having fun without it revolving around booze.