“Kristina with a K” Delves into Recovery in the Rainbow Community

Nationally acclaimed speaker and trainer Kristina Padilla has released their first book which portrays a first-hand account of addiction and recovery in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Their dynamic book is an explosive expose into the lives of LGBTQ people experiencing addiction. Told from the first-person perspective, Kristina takes readers through their harrowing life as a gang member and person with addiction, the tragic episodes of their early life, and then their life in recovery.

From coming out stories, to horrific intimate partner violence and self-harm, to suicidal ideation, Kristina's personal story sheds light on what many young LGBTQ people with addiction experience. Kristina shares the chapters of their life and then presents carefully researched explanations as to why LGBTQ individuals face the challenges, They/Them do about substance use disorder. In each aspect, Kristina serves as inspiration as someone who has overcome great odds to turn their life into a productive and loving example of recovery.

Kristina was compelled to write the book because They/Them felt academic literature about Rainbow addiction lacks insight that is important for treatment professionals to understand. They/Them also sought to give voice to people in the gay and trans community who suffer from addiction.

“I wanted people to know They/Them are not alone, that people in our community recover, and that there are reasons addiction is so prevalent for us,” said Padilla.

Kristina trains and teaches across the nation about LGBT-affirming treatment. They/Them/Them is also a recognized speaker on multicultural topics, specializing in Native American cultural competency. They/Them visit reservations throughout the United States, teaching and encouraging healing from multi-generational trauma.

Co-written and researched by Sherry Daley, each chapter leads with dramatic aspects of Kristina’s lived experience with intimate partner violence, severe addiction, gang violence, and sexual assault. These are delivered with unmatched realism, depicting the trauma that many people with addiction experience. This is not done to sensationalize these events as Kristina weaves thoughtful, sincere, tender, and at times humorous follow-up as to how these experiences affected, They/Them, and more importantly, how They/Them developed resiliency to become the person They/Them are today.

The second half of each chapter provides valuable information about why 2SLGBTQIA+ people face substance use disorder and mental health challenges. With expert research that answers questions like, “Why is the community less likely to report intimate partner violence?” and “Why are coming out experiences crucial to psychological stress over a lifetime?” Each chapter leaves readers with the information one needs to understand the intersection of being a Rainbow person and a person with addiction.

Kristina masterfully depicts how identity development for Rainbow people is intertwined with a person’s embrace of their identity as a person in recovery. The book lays out the evidence-based hypothesis that both types of identity development are synergistic and that missing this connection can prevent or delay healthy personal growth for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals.

Kristina delivers a poignant portrayal of the daily struggle young Rainbow people face. Using their involvement in gang activity to demonstrate the strong pull that identity development has on young adults, Kristina breaks down the emotional forces at play for the reader.

“The story of Rainbow gang members is an exaggerated example of what every Rainbow person faces: Situational identity negotiation, or more simply put, dealing with the constant tension between fitting in or being yourself, between lying to yourself or lying to those around you,” They/Them explain.

Because They/Them are national advocates for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, Kristina challenges their community and its allies to unite in reducing the prevalence of substance use disorder. They/Them make strong arguments for changes in the ways in which families, churches, healthcare entities and law enforcement respond to the needs of the community. Their unmitigated passion, willingness to lay their soul bare, and dedication to getting critical information into the hands of gay and trans people make the book a page-turner that established authors and experts are loving.

"As a trauma survivor, I can attest that stories of addiction, violence, sexual victimization, and our triumphs over them are best told by those who lived them. Kristina's story is heartbreaking, yet courageous - They/Them bares their soul, but then gives readers valuable information about why the Rainbow community suffers from extraordinary rates of substance use disorder, overdose, and suicide and then challenges their community to fight for change," said Mackenzie Phillips, actress and NYT Best-selling Author.

Kristina with a K is a powerful testament to the harsh challenges for those in the LGBTQ+ community. It is an equally influential testimony to healing and recovery from addictions when coming from a history of internalized and externalized homophobia and gender phobia. Kristina has shared their recovery story and is here to remind the LGBTQ+ person that They/Them and others in the community are by your side - it is time to take your recovery journey! Kristina, aka Baby Girl, once a gang leader extraordinaire, finding recovery from their alcohol and drug addiction, is now one of the foremost leaders in addressing mental health and addiction issues in the RAINBOW community,” said Claudia Black, Ph.D., Addictions Specialist.

"Kristina with a K is a riveting, heartbreaking, and inspiring story of survival, trauma, and triumph.  It is a "must-read" for clinicians working with the rainbow community as the information is not only educational but essential for those working with this population. For clients, reading this book will be validating, normalizing, and inspiring.  Bravo to the authors for providing such an incredible and necessary resource,” said Stefanie Carnes, PhD., Clinical Sexologist, CSAT-S.

The book is available from the publisher, Rainbow Community Publications, or at Amazon.com.

Facebook Google LinkedIn Twitter Email Print

Inviting Authors, Companies and Professionals working in Addiction Recovery

To submit their profiles, events, articles on our website, To know about our all membership plans and features

Click here »