• Image of Beyond Bars: an essay about the impacts of intoxication culture and substance use on trans culture

from From the Margins: Trans people face higher rates of discrimination and violence than non-trans people. These harms are further compacted when a trans person is also a racialized person, a sex worker or a woman. This results in increased rates of substance use among trans people to cope with recurring stresses and trauma. Historically, within queer and trans culture, there has been an emphasis on bar culture in order to create the social and economic supports necessary to combat discrimination and social isolation. Both the increased use of substances to cope with stresses and the emphasis on bar culture within trans communities increases the risk of criminalization, stigma and violence to trans people. Existing public health services directed at trans people are often limited to sexual health and transitioning. Services for substance use support that are not trans specific are often inaccessible to trans people because of institutional transphobia. Therefore there is an explicit need to create trans specific alcohol and other drug use services to get trans people the support they need.

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