Class A: The Film Kickstarter Wants To Shine A Light on Addiction In The Gay Community

If you are one of the many who feels like there still isn’t enough LGBTQ representation in our entertainment media, then try to put your money where your mouth is.

And we don’t mean just going to the movies whenever a Moonlight or the upcoming gay teen film Love, Simon comes to your nearest theater. We mean financially supporting projects every now and then as well.

One way you can do that is by checking out sites like Kickstarter, and today we’ve already selected a Kickstarter project worth backing.

Class A: The Film is a short film project currently in the works.

The film plans to talk about and face the problem of addiction in the LGBTQ community.

“The film follows three addicts, Jenny, a young, African-American, fashion student, addicted to her personified drug, “Coke”, aka "Charlie", a cocky, charming yet manipulative asshole. And Dan, who recently puked up over his ex-boyfriend, while on heroin and now converses with “Heroin”, who is a sweet elderly, caring woman. Finally, there is Brad, who battles with his personified drug, “Crystal Meth”, who emotionally and sexually abuses him.”

This short film will be an adaption of a stage play from 2012 that was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

The creator wanted to reformat the story and present it in a different way in order to reach a wider audience. He feels the topic is important and should reach others because, “Substance abuse disorders among LGBTQ individuals may be 20% to 30%, higher than the general population (9%). 25% of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to 5 to 10 percent of the general population.”

In addition, the film is working in tandem with charity Gay & Sober which works to help LGBTQ members struggling with addiction and wishing to live a life of sobriety.

If you want to see this film become a reality, you can back it on Kickstarter. But hurry as there's only a couple more days to back.

On top of that, if you give certain amounts of money you will get a reward such as a piece of digital art to download, a social media shoutout, or a copy of the finished film.

Again, check out their Kickstarter page if you want to donate and help create more LGBTQ representation with a message.

Addiction Treatment Program By LGBTQs For LGBTQs Opens in West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – Along the ever-gentrifying Melrose Avenue – not far from the Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen boutiques – a new addiction treatment facility has opened for business.

Its distinction? Pride Recovery Los Angeles (PRLA) is operated and staffed by LGBTQs for LGBTQ patients seeking treatment for any number of addictive behaviors.

Sex addiction? Yeah, they can help with that.

Alocholism? Uh-huh.

Drug addiction, such as dependence on crystal meth? You bet.

At the new program’s early evening open house Larry Hymes, clinical director of PRLA, looked around the lobby, seeing attendees drinking small bottles of Pellegrino and cans of Diet Coke, and said, “It’s just great to hear so many people affirming what we are doing.”

He meant potential partnership entities, both those with the power to refer patients to programs like his, such as therapists, nonprofits and other treatment centers, as well as those who can house his clients, such as sober living facilities. PRLA is outpatient only, just one of a number of factors distinguishing it from other addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles.

Three thirty-something male staff members, who work in operations for one of those sober living homes, the luxurious Westwind Recovery Residencies just south of West Hollywood on San Vicente Boulevard, said they were at the open house because “a gay-run treatment center is unique.” They wanted to check out PRLA as a number of their residents will now attend the LGBTQ program.

Westwind, mostly owned and operated by LGBTQs, is one of two investors in PRLA, along with Bel Air Treatment. Zachary Ament of Westwind said, "Throughout the years of working with the LGBTQ population, we became increasingly aware of the need" for a facility like PRLA.


Stasie Kardashian owns and operates the intervention centers Kardashian Addiction Services and Lifeline Interventions. Seated on beige and brown upscale patio furniture on PRLA’s above-the-street outdoor space overlooking Melrose, she was there because a treatment center for gay people, created by gay people is unusual.

Highlighting experiences she had known of personally, being in the addiction recovery field for so many years, she said, “It’s important for LGBTQ people in recovery to be treated by LGBTQ people.” “They understand. They know about the issues facing someone who comes to them for help.”

Kardashian cited a case she was personally familiar with where an HIV-positive male patient with an active sex addiction was placed in a dorm room with another male patient whom it was inappropriate for him to be roomed with. “They just didn’t get it,” she explained, referring to the non-LGBTQ treatment center not experienced with the unique needs of LGBTQ addicts.

West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran showed up to support PRLA. “On November 5,” he told me, “I’ll be sober for 21 years.” So the political is personal, at least for him.

PRLA has actually been seeing clients for nearly four weeks. Matthew Bianchi, outreach and admissions coordinator, who had just picked up a mini cupcake with rainbow glitter on it, said, “We actually have 22 people in treatment already.”

Able to treat up to 60 people simultaneously, PRLA offers three treatment programs: a Monday through Friday full-day program lasting six hours per day, half-day programs also five days a week, and a twice a week outpatient program designed for clients with some recovery under their belt.

(NOTE: this story was amended on October 27, 2017. The prior version reported PRLA is exclusively owned by LGBTQ people.)