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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 359 > BEYOND THE BAR

BEYOND THE BAR

The LGBT+ community has a long history with alcohol and substance abuse, understandable considering the fact that some of the first refuges for LGBT+ people to meet and talk were gay clubs and bars. But as times have progressed, Frankie Smith asks why there aren’t more alcohol- free spaces available for LGBT+ youth.

The fact that we are more affected by alcohol and substance abuse than our heterosexual counterparts is no secret. This can be caused by issues such as homophobic abuse, mental health issues, and discrimination. Therefore, we tend to turn to drugs and alcohol for a release or an escape.

Casual alcoholism is rife in the community, and gay bars can have a tendency to exacerbate binge drinking with activities and events that push on us the “need” to drink alcohol to have a good time. Events that give free drinks as prizes are doing nothing to help the problem.

Another issue that is also quite apparent is that bars and clubs aren’t ideal for disabled people, as there are usually stairs and steps with no wheelchair-accessible ramps. Along with that, the loud music and crowded atmosphere in a club could be an issue for a neurodiverse person, as there could be the possibility of a sensory overload.

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About GCN

Welcome to one of our personal favourites - the annual Youth Issue. Inside, we hear from the next generation of LGBT+ change-makers who speak about the issues that matter to them. There’s an inspiring photo piece on the recent School Strikes For Climate Change by the wonderful Babs Daly who also captured the cover image. We look at an LGBT+ asylum seeker who entered the Direct Provision system at age 13 and there’s an essential piece on the rising numbers of homeless LGBT+ youth. We talk about the need for alcohol-free spaces for younger LGBT+ folk while inside you’ll also find the results of the EMIS survey to improve the health of gay, bi and MSM. On the entertainment side we have interviews with comedian Hannah Gadsby, the creators of the startling theatre show Faultline, and there’s a fun introduction to the next generation of drag artists. With the youth of this country demanding change, we can rest assured that if the contributors to this issue are leading the charge, the status quo is about to get a jolt. Enjoy.