This week on the pod we spoke with the brilliant @mrmatthewtodd, a multi-award-winning writer, broadcaster and sometime performer who edited the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, Attitude, for eight years and is best known for his book ‘Straight Jacket: Overcoming Societies Legacy of Gay Shame’, published by Black Swan (part of Penguin Random House) in 2016. His second book ‘Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement’ was published by Welbeck Books (then Carlton publishing) in the UK and in France in 2019 and will be published by Weldon Owen in the USA in May 2020.
Both Lee (The Gay Sober) & Scott (Proud & Sober) alerted us to Matthew's work and the impact that Straight Jacket has had on their lives and unpicking their drinking stories as gay men and it is such an important conversation.
It was very illuminating and once again affirming that such a common thread in addiction, SUDs or other addictions is the experience of shame and 'othering' in our early lives and formative years. Matthew talked about gay shame and trauma and we too have talked about trauma and shame before, ACEs, poverty, neurodiversity - ADHD, autism, sensory processing, which all increases your likelihood of SUDs and other addictions. These are all key conversations about why people develop a problematic relationship with a substance - to numb the fear, anxiety and shame because for whatever our story we have told we are less than for being us. Then of course there is the trauma of racism - and the call to see and call bullshit and rise up against systemic racism and to come together to change and learn.
It's sitting heavy on us as we are processing once again, the othering that goes on from the heterosexual, white, male, neurotypical train tracks and systems and constructs we have lived within, felt unseen, othered, in pain and sought to ease that pain with addictions.
What we feel hope in is these conversations, knowing that we heal together collectively and that sobriety really is a gift for growth, change and acceptance.
We are so thankful for Matthew for taking the time to talk with us, if you are looking for his support group mentioned it is A Change of Scene on FB
Grab a cuppa and let's chat x