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This Pride month, we would like to acknowledge the grief that can often accompany the joy of honoring one’s gender and sexual identity. While being a part of the LGBTQ+ community can bring freedom, connection and acceptance, one also faces social stigma, discrimination, shame and increased violence. Statistics collected from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that LGBTQ+ folks are at roughly twice the risk of developing a substance use disorder as their cis, heterosexual counterparts. It is also more difficult to openly grieve a loss or practically honor a person’s wishes if you are not legally considered family. Let’s honor those we have lost and make space for the disenfranchised and ambiguous grief that follows.

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