LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous to host open meeting in Outhouse Dublin

Ahead of the open meeting, GCN spoke to two of the group members who opened up about finding joy in sobriety.

The exterior of Outhouse, which hosts the LGBTQIA+ Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The image shows the building in the evening, lit up with pink windows and the Outhouse sign illuminated also. The door to the building is painted with a Pride progress flag.
Image: Outhouse via Facebook

On Friday, February 23, the LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous is hosting an open meeting Outhouse, Dublin. The event is welcome to all, from people who feel they might want to stop drinking to those concerned about a partner, friend or family member.

The group will gather at Outhouse on Capel Street from 6:30pm, with the meeting taking place from 7-8pm. Attendees will hear from members of the LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous as they share their experiences and the tools they’ve learned to deal with their addiction. There will also be time to grab a coffee and chat with other participants in a welcoming and caring space.

Ahead of the open meeting in Outhouse, GCN spoke to two members of the LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, a trans woman and a gay man, to find out more. They will be referred to as Mary and Kevin, but their names have been changed to maintain members’ anonymity in line with the AA traditions.

“I always drank to black out or to be extremely drunk and intoxicated, but I thought I was having a good time,” Mary explained.

“I realised as a queer person, I was struggling to fit in, and when you drank to excess, I think you kind of fit in better with your peers.”

As a result of excessive drinking and drug use, Mary was experiencing seizures and anxiety attacks. This led her to go to a treatment centre, but she remained in denial about her addiction. While she was able to stay sober for significant periods, she “struggled with the whole powerlessness” of alcoholism, and suffered some relapses.

“I struggled with the idea that my willpower wouldn’t overcome this and that I wouldn’t be able to just have a few social drinks normally,” she said. It wasn’t until Mary went back to AA and got a sponsor who went through Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book with her, that she was able to accept her addiction.

“When I went through the 12 steps this time, I really got the clarity of my drinking that, you know, I never drank normally, I always drank to blackout, my life was totally unmanageable because of alcohol and drugs.

“That was a relief when I got that clarity and I got that acceptance.”

Mary now attends several meetings weekly and has been sober for three years.

Speaking about the benefits of AA, she shared, “There’s a huge kind of unity with us all and there’s great fellowship, there’s great friendship and we support one another and we have these soulful conversations. It has been life-changing.” She also noted that with Outhouse’s AA group, it’s “amazing” to feel comfortable discussing LGBTQ+ issues specifically.

She concluded: “I had this huge issue thinking that my life was over when I gave up alcohol, but really, with being sober now and being in AA, what I wanted from alcohol, I’m getting from AA.

“Being sober, I’d still go out socially and I’m able to engage in a conversation and get up and dance, enjoy my night and feel good. Where, in the end with my drinking, I was isolated and totally up in my head and paranoid. So it was like this delusion that I was telling myself – that my life was going to be over – because it wasn’t. Being sober embraces my life in a positive way.”


On the other hand, Kevin explained that he drank for a variety of reasons, including “to deal with lack of self-confidence and ability to interact with people”.

“The entire time it was very much an escape from my own mind…I think ‘trapped’ is probably a pretty good word to describe my relationship with alcohol because I knew that it was damaging for my life, I knew that it was very destructive, but I just couldn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see a life without it…even though it was the most destructive thing in my life, it was also probably the most important thing to me.”

At 30 years old, Kevin’s professional life and personal relationships were suffering as a consequence of his drinking until eventually he “snapped under the misery” and “couldn’t take it anymore”. At that moment, he decided to attend AA, but it took three months of meetings and “more pain” until he was able to stop drinking.

Having been sober for 18 months now, he said it’s “like the colour coming back” into his life.

“I’ve been at every kind of party, rave, nightclub, out ‘til 7am, having great nights…I’m able to go to things and be so much more present and not be the mess that people are talking about or not be disrupting other people’s lives.”

He described the benefits of attending meetings, saying: “Through AA, I have been able to get back to normal living. Better relationships with my family, better relationships with my friends, I’m working better, I am reliable. I am able to be confident in myself. All the normal everyday things that I couldn’t do when I was drinking.

“AA has helped me to have the life and peace that I so wanted but couldn’t get to because of my drinking,” he continued.

Similar to Mary, Kevin spoke about the sense of unity at meetings: “There’s something very specific that we can connect on and, where a lot of the time I would feel on the outside of groups of people, with other alcoholics I don’t feel that.”

This is amplified when attending the LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous at Outhouse.

“(LGBTQ+ people) do have a very specific story, not all the same, but there are very similar elements to them…One of the greatest gifts from AA, particularly in the first few months, was when I would hear people explain how I felt my entire life,” he said.

“When I heard someone talk about the hole in the soul, that dark void that you’re constantly trying to fill, to hear someone speak about something that you have felt so viscerally…and know that you’re not alone was so incredible.”

However, Kevin importantly noted, “While we’re predominantly LGBTQIA+, the meeting on Friday and any of the meetings are open to anyone who wants to stop drinking! No one is excluded and all are welcome.”

The LGBTQIA+ Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets in Outhouse, Dublin and online every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The open meeting is being held on Friday, February 23, from 7-8pm, and all are welcome to attend. To find out more, visit

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