James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Quest for Sobriety

The coming of the New Year has long been a cause for celebration. This year once again the lighted ball will descend in Times Square, 2009 will go out as an old man and 2010 will come in as a baby. The other tradition connected with Auld Lang Syne has been a problematic for some. The fact is that alcohol consumption and gay culture have been intimately connected since before the days that Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud downed their first absinthe cocktails.

In today's selection, "The History of Gay People in Alcoholics Anonymous: From the Beginning," Audrey Borden traces the role queers have played in helping construct the twelve-step program, a system utilized by groups as diverse as narcotic abusers, sex addicts and compulsive gamblers to name a few. The book is written in the personal, down-home style typical of these meetings. Borden lets her subjects tell their own stories while providing background information highlighting the specific obstacles LGBT folks faced in both their struggle to stay clean and sober as well as their struggle for acceptance withing the Alcoholics Anonymous Community.

Here is an online chronology of gays in AA. And here are more resources for Gay and Lesbian Recovering Alcoholics. Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

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