Fact: The year following The Bridge to Recovery’s incorporation, in December of 1973, the board of the American Psychiatric Association voted 13-0 “to remove homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders.”  This decade was bookmarked between the Stonewall Riots, marking the beginning of the gay rights movement, and the AIDS epidemic, which disproportionately affected stigmatized and marginalized groups. From an online article published by the San Francisco LGBT Center:

“Individuals with AIDS not only struggled to find medical care and treatments, but also endured the menacing effects of socialized stigma surrounding the disease. Enduring and ultimately surviving the AIDS epidemic brought people of differing identities together: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals formed what we know today as the LGBTQ community.” (Looking Back: The AIDS Epidemic <link> https://www.sfcenter.org/history/looking-back-the-aids-epidemic/)

The Bridge to Recovery remains dedicated to helping individuals affected by unresolved trauma uncover their pain, understand their truth, and experience emotional recovery leading to a renewed sense of self and happiness.  We recognize that the LGBTQI+ community experiences trauma at an alarmingly high rate.

According to an article by Caroline Sarda published by American Psychological Services:

“Several new studies on the impact of traumatic events on the mental health and functioning of LGBTQ individuals highlight the importance of providing a safe, sexually affirming space in mental health treatment for LGBTQ individuals, especially if they are receiving treatment related to traumatic events. Taking steps to ensure patients are comfortable coming out to their therapists, addressing negative ideas related to LGBTQ identity in session, and teaching effective coping skills for stressors related to discrimination are all beneficial strategies for improving treatment outcomes for members of this community.” (Research roundup: Traumatic events and the LGBTQ community <link> https://www.apaservices.org/practice/ce/expert/traumatic-events-lgbtq)

This month is PRIDE Month, and we hope to provide education, understanding, and advocacy in an area we profoundly understand: trauma. Additionally, we want to support members of the LGBTQI+ community who have experienced trauma, whatever stage of their journey they currently are traversing, and CELEBRATE their accomplishments. 

Here, Michaela G., Bridge Alumnus shares their experience:

“The Bridge really helped me come to terms with my gender identity. Going to The Bridge, I was suicidal and I absolutely hated myself. 

Being there, I truly learned to love myself and that I’m great just being me. 

I had been openly gay for 9 years before going to the Bridge, but I wasn’t ok with my gender identity. After constantly being gender policed in my childhood and teenage years I felt like it was wrong to be who I really was. 

A year after leaving the Bridge I officially came out as non-binary and have been owning myself ever since! 

I just got to work on the new TV show Queer as Folk and that was even more affirming! I work on it daily, but I love myself and the person I am, thanks to The Bridge. Here’s a picture of me in 2019 and me in 2022 on the last day of Queer as Folk

Happy Pride everyone!”