The diversity of the membership of AA is one of those things that I love about the Program. This is very evident in the area where I live. What unites us is both our disease of alcoholism and our search for the solution to recovery. As I was told early in recovery, to look for the similarities, not the differences. This also relates back to the “anonymity” of the Program. I am nothing more nor less that “Bonnie, alcoholic,” when I introduce myself at meeting level. My ethnic background does not matter, my marital status does not matter, what job I work does not matter, nor does my lack of working, it does not matter what kind of car I drive or if I use public transportation, none of these things define me when I am in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I have been in meetings where 99% of the membership is white, I make an attempt to welcome those who are in the minority, however that is defined. I spent enough time trying to fit in with other groups, where I usually ended up feeling “different.” I have been asked to leave a few choice places – and have been asked not to return to others. This relates to my behavior, most often. My behavior changes when alcohol is in the mix – I believe this is true for many of us. The changes I have made in the Program are positive ones, and no one has ever asked me to leave a meeting . . . although suggestions about changes continue to be made – and accepted, as I know that continued growth will occur in my life. AA is “inclusive” not “exclusive” which means that we work towards accepting all who come in search of sobriety, after all Tradition Three states “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Thanks, Bill W