July 24, 2021 – My experiences with alcohol and substances came up recently when I met my editor at San Francisco Examiner. After more than a year and a half, we had never seen each other face-to-face. While sipping coffee and tea at the Westin St. Francis, she asked, “How did you get a cocktail column when you don’t drink?”

“You tell me, your paper gave it to me,” I said with a laugh and a bit of an evil grin. No, I clarified. I had been pitching a former iteration of a mixology series to her bosses probably since 2012. By the time the then-editor-in-chief asked I write a “spirits column” in 2019, I was just so excited we settled on something after years of negotiation, I casually left out the part where I’d stopped drinking.

In the local and national LGBTQ community, I have a combined following of about 10,000 user accounts and email addresses; I do not know who among The Examiner audience knows my drinking status, but my personal audience is well aware. They are happy and proud of my journey but also entertained, and they sometimes ask similarly how I write about cocktails when I don’t drink them.



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