May 30, 2024  – “One of the reasons I moved to Philly was to get sober,” said Todd S., who noted that members of the group use first names and a last initial to preserve anonymity. Todd, who previously served as Philadelphia Freedom Roundup’s treasurer and helped to bring this year’s production to life, initially got involved in the organization after attending an annual conference — called a roundup.

“For the first time, I saw that in recovery life is not over,” he said. “We’re having a ton of fun. These people know how to party. We’re just doing it without alcohol and drugs.”

The next year, the group hosted Miss Sobriety for the first time and has continued the tradition annually (minus two years during the height of the pandemic). Initially, the intention of the competition was to raise enough money to host another roundup event.

“But more importantly, it’s become an event on its own,” said Todd about the pageant. “So many people in the recovery community — not just the LGBTQ+ community but in the recovery community in general — look forward to it every year.”

“There are over 40 volunteers plus all the performers that make this event what it is. Without them, we would not have an event,” he said, noting that many of the contestants over the last decade have been first-time performers.