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An Open Letter To Affirmations And The Detroit LGBT Community

By |2013-04-11T09:00:00-04:00April 11th, 2013|Michigan, News|

As a kid growing up in the seventies, I never felt the safety of a community, in fact quite the opposite. Coming from an Arabic background, I knew I would be shunned if I were to embrace my sexual identity. I couldn’t imagine coming out to my family so I ran, physically and emotionally.
I moved to New York City and used many things including drugs that were outside of myself to help make my insides feel better. After many years of self-abuse, and then even more heartache and debilitating circumstances, I realized that who I was had always been enough. So I started my recovery process, not just from drugs, but also from self-doubt, transforming all of the negativity into hope and self-love.
Many people have shown up and helped me in this quest to embrace myself as a lesbian, Arab-American, and recovering addict.
The first place I went was the LGBT East Village meetings and the LGBT center in New York City, where I was welcomed and taken care of. When I came back to the Detroit area with just a few weeks of sobriety under my belt, I used Affirmations as a safe haven. I went to meetings and hung out afterwards with other people who had similar stories, and together we got better. This community has been a constant pillar for me to lean on, so I would like to extend myself back to you.
I would like to share my story with you. Join me on April 18 at the DIA for a VIP reception with Elizabeth Gilbert at 6 p.m. Or I hope to see you at my public reading with Liz at 7 p.m. at the DIA that evening.
Rayya Elias
April 3, 2013

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.