As a new year dawns, it's a time for many to make major changes in their lives. For some, that means an about face from the wanton revelry of the holiday season, and a move toward sobriety.
No matter what time of year one attempts it, getting and staying sober can be overwhelming tasks, especially for beginners. And as anyone in "the program" will tell you, it's best not attempted alone. Fortunately for New Yorkers, a great many 12 Step support meetings go on all around the city at all hours of the day and night. Many of these meetings are specifically designed for LGBT people, with a good number of these occurring at the LGBT Community Center. Importantly however, gay people are welcome at virtually every single meeting in town.
The following resources are invaluable for LGBT New Yorkers who are looking to get -- and stay -- sober.
Compiled by Chelsea-based addiction counselor Roy Y., this simple but critical collection of addiction links provides quick access to the Big Book Concordance, worksheets, LGBT meetings, and other helpful resources.
Also put together by Roy Y., this is a vital list of meetings for LGBT newcomers to the program, since it lays out only those that are open to beginners and visitors. No advance communication is necessary before showing up at these meetings, though it's advisable to arrive about 20 minutes early in order to get a good seat. Roy's personal pick: the Monday Ninth Avenue meeting at the Rectory of Holy Apostles Church, 296 Ninth Ave. at 28th Street. A 6:15 p.m. regular meeting is followed by a 7:45 p.m. discussion, then a dedicated 9:00 p.m. beginners meeting.
This invaluable PDF (updated in 2009) gives a daily run-down of all LGBT-specific meetings, including AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CA (Cocaine Anonymous), CMA (Crystal Meth Anonymous), MA (Marijuana Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), and SCA (Sexual Compulsives Anonymous).
A list of all AA meetings in the greater New York City area, with narrowed sections for Manhattan and the other boroughs. As a reminder, LGBT people are welcome at all meetings. If you have trouble locating a meeting online, call Inter-Group for assistance at 212-647-1680 (daily including Sundays and holidays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
A helpful list of all of the Center's program meetings, broken down by day and addiction type.
This group of NYC gay AAers was founded in 1980. It hosts an annual conference in late November, as well as many sober parties throughout the year (including those normally booze-soaked holidays like New Year's Eve and Halloween).