Renaissance Ranch

How Can Alumni Support Help Men Within the LGBTQIA+ Community Build Connections

Feb 13, 2024

Individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community face additional challenges due to negative stigma and hurtful stereotypes from peers. It can be difficult for one to cope with the external effects associated with one’s identity due to a major lack of support. In some circumstances, opening up to family and friends can be dangerous. Although this is a common problem today, alumni support can provide comfort, guidance, and access to new connections and help individuals maintain overall health and recovery. Participating in alumni programs at Renaissance Ranch can be highly beneficial to those part of the LGBTQIA+ community who lack emotional support.

The Challenges Men Within the LGBTQIA+ Community Face

Research indicates that gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults are at an increased risk of misusing drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and cope with negativity. For example, the prevalence of serious psychiatric disorders in 2023 was greater than three times higher for bisexual men than heterosexual males and more than double among gay men than among straight men. Individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community have been proven to experience depressive episodes, suicidal ideations, and co-occurring problems with their mental health. Discrimination and harassment from others can make one feel even more out of place and isolated from others. Harboring a secret can feel very distracting, affect relationships with loved ones, and make it even more difficult to connect with others. 

The Importance of Support for LGBTQIA+ Men

Many men struggle to find their true identity. It can also be easy for one to internalize negativity from others in the process. Doing so can be very damaging to one’s mental health. Once an individual establishes their chosen identity, it can be difficult to express themselves without fearing conflict with family, friends, and loved ones. Isolation can lead to a worsened state of mental health which may include anxiety, depression, and problems with substance abuse. Having such fears and hesitancy can make one feel isolated. Thus, support is crucial for one to feel full acceptance within themselves and others within and outside of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the four dimensions of recovery are imperative to achieve long-term mental stability. Recovery is a steady process that requires ongoing change to improve an individual’s overall health and wellness. Each dimension of recovery can guide one to live a more structured lifestyle and achieve their prioritized goals for a better future. For those facing challenges within the LGBTQIA+ community, recovery signifies a dramatic shift in one’s expectation for a successful outcome. Recovery involves: 

  • Ongoing management of one’s condition
  • Establishing a stable living environment
  • Conducting meaningful activities 
  • Building strong connections and establishing healthy relationships with networks. Friendships can provide healthy friendships, hope, love, and ongoing support within the community.

What Is an Alumni Program?

Choosing to move forward with an alumni program can help an individual maintain mental stability without depending on drugs and alcohol to cope with their condition. An alumni program provides individuals with healthy connections who have similar goals for a positive future. They are designed to help individuals gain additional support for relapse prevention. Being a part of an alumni program can be a great way to develop new sober living skills. It can also encourage one to participate in sober activities. An individual may benefit from attending alumni events and gaining additional information and support services for ongoing care.

How Can an Alumni Event Help Provide Men Apart of the LGBTQIA+ Community With Support

Participating in an alumni program can be a great way for men with an LGBTQIA+ identity to establish healthy relationships. Alumni events can help individuals find support from peers who are also a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Attending alumni events can help men make new connections and relieve them from social isolation. They can learn new coping strategies and build a higher sense of confidence and self-esteem. Spending time with others who have also been through the dark waves associated with negative stigma and stereotypes can be helpful. Doing so can help men build the strength to overcome past trauma. Further benefits include: 

  • Ongoing education
  • Accountability
  • Community support
  • Reduced chance of relapse

The Value of Moving Forward With Renaissance Ranch

Renaissance Ranch understands the need for healthy social relationships is critical for a steady recovery. Not having enough support can be dangerous for men who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Participating in weekly meetups and joining extracurricular activities can be highly beneficial. They promote a solid foundation, ongoing growth, and a sober framework for men facing challenges with their identity.

Newer members of their Band of Brothers program can comfortably integrate with the alumni community through a wide range of annual events and quarterly retreats. Connections are everything. It is not about how big an individual’s circle is, it is about who they know. Their alumni program spares no expense to keep men connected with other men who understand what it is like to struggle with addiction and the mental health associated with their identity. 

The Band of Brothers provides a built-in support network that provides emotional, social, and sometimes even professional support for its members. Our alumni program is a tight-knit group, where we all hold one another accountable for what it takes to stay sober. It’s so important for guys like us, who are sober, to feel like we are a part of something and Renaissance Ranch does more than any other program we know of, in keeping our Alumni connected. Men who have gone through our program are constantly connecting with the newer members of the program and showing them that there is hope in recovery. If you are having trouble coping with their identity, call us at (801) 308-8898