When Is Accommodation A Step Too Far ?

The Literature we read in every meeting, was codified into being when the fellowship began, and the meeting scripts and literature were finely tuned.

Being gay in A.A. has not been pretty. I’ve been told to leave meetings, and not come back, because some alcoholics found me “a human who was not condoned to sit in the same room with them.”

That caused a Slip back into drinking and drugs, that almost killed me.

When I moved to Montreal, that happened a second time, in a meeting in the West End of the city. I never went back to that meeting, and in as many years, I’ve never stepped into a meeting with any of those men and women, to this day.

Back when I first got Sober, there were dedicated GAY meetings. For Gay men. Even so, there were also dedicated meetings for the GAY Women. Over the years, as gay men died, I was and still am the only surviving man living with AIDS on the English side.

Over the years those gay meetings closed, because they could not be populated to sustain a meeting. And in the early years, LGBT men and women began to assimilate into Straight meetings, into general population.

I know, for a fact, that way back when, there were TRANS men and women, in the system. And I made sure I knew who they were, so that if I was present in a meeting, they knew that that meeting was safe to attend, that nobody was going to harm them or disrespect them, so long as I was there.

Many of those TRANS people have disappeared. I’ve not seen many of them in a number of years now. My folks on the spectrum, have more than alcohol in their stories, those making transitions, so forth and so on. Many of them went back out under pressure and never returned.

In the last year, we have seen the LGBT Spectrum widen. More than we had seen in as many years. With the broadening of the sexual orientation spectrum, the terms Gender Neutral or Non-Binary have become stock.

We have a handful of kids in this gender non-binary grouping. Along with the Gay men and women, and TRANS men and women.

The discussion at business meetings and Group Consciences has turned into fighting matches to AMEND our hallowed literature scripts to accommodate everybody in a meeting.

We’ve now reached the point where the words MEN and WOMEN have been removed from the preambles across the city. The word GOD has been removed to Higher Power, for those who do not even deign to say the word God in community.

AA Preamble. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help other to recover from alcoholism.

This is the way the script has been read for over 80 years.

We’ve now amended that script to say “People.” And Not Men and Women.

Tonight … Was a business meeting that got heated and contentious.

At the Group Conscience a couple of weeks ago, the issue of wording came up and the script changed, voted and with a majority of support is what we read right today.

There are two TRANS women in our group. They come tonight to the business meeting because they had a bone to pick, because they are upset the wording was changed with out THEIR approval or discussion.

They did not attend the group conscience meeting, so they did not get the opportunity to be dissenting voices to the changes.

They came tonight and wanted to verbiage to be changed BACK from “People” to “Men and Women, AND People.” Words were spoken, curses were offered as well. The discussion got very heated.

At one point, I put the motion on the table to change the verbiage back to Men and Women and People.

Sadly, our NON-BINARY kids were in the meeting. Those who offered the change to “People” at the meeting.

I put the motion on the table and we voted.

The motion was voted down. So the verbiage remains “People.”

Our two TRANS women left the meeting in tears, because they feel slighted that Men and Women have been removed from the script, and they, as trans women want inclusion as Men and Women stated in the original.

They left, after Myself and my friend Jim spoke to them. I was outside with one of our women, and Jim was inside with the other. We tried to smooth it over and talk openly and honestly.

We both failed at that.

They will come to the next business meeting next month and try again to raise the issue to put it to a vote to change the wording back to

“Men and Women, with the additional People.”

We’ve tried with difficulty to open the meetings to everyone and not single anyone out or intimate that Everyone is not welcome. That sexual orientation and identity are outside issues, and this is a meeting, and we do things one way and one way only.

We’ve been very accommodating to everyone.

But the Non-Binary camp is powerful and they want things the way they want it, and they don’t want to bend and see that the trans community is just as welcome as they are, and that if we are going to amend the literature as they would like, we have to accommodate everyone equally.

This is the issue of the week right now.

I don’t know quite what to do now.

Suggestions are welcome.