11 September 2022
Dear Live and Let Live Alano Club Member,
In 1983, when the Live and Let Live Alano Club (LLLAC) was founded, members of the LGBTQ+ community needed a place where they were welcome to attend and share at 12-step meetings. For 39 years, the LLLAC has continued with the mission of providing a safe and welcoming space for queer persons to seek recovery, meetings, and a community. Over time, particularly the past decade, the need for such a clubhouse has changed—most clubhouses will welcome a queer meeting, and most 12-step meetings will welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The vicissitudes of fundraising and membership the club experienced has, in those recent years, settled into a consistent downward trend, with reductions in membership, donations, and funding as people can attend more and more meetings elsewhere—against a backdrop of skyrocketing rent prices in San Diego. Inflation since the beginning of the year has more than tripled the projected cost of building out the new space, well outpacing fundraising.
It is bittersweet that the social acceptance that many have fought so hard for has also diminished the need for the continued mission of the LLLAC, and the organization has now reached a point where it is fiscally unsustainable. On behalf of the LLLAC Board of Directors, I would like to inform you that, following the General Membership Meeting earlier this afternoon, the LLLAC will be shutting down and closing its doors this fall.
I know that for many, this will be surprising, disappointing, and possibly shocking. Personally, my recovery journey began with meetings at the LLLAC, and I cannot put into words how much I appreciate what the club has helped me do. In many ways, as much space as there is for sadness, the club is closing because so much of its mission has been accomplished—and we would like to celebrate what the club has accomplished as much we grieve its closing. To this end, as things wind down, we will be embracing the community: we will assist meetings in relocating; hold listening sessions to hear from members and attendees about how the LLLAC impacted their lives; host a celebration for the club in November; and invite the Lambda Archives of San Diego to assess what they might like to preserve regarding the LLLAC’s role in the history of the San Diego queer community.
I would like to thank the current and former staff, volunteers, and members of the Board, and I would like to thank you, each and every member, for your contributions to our community. The fellowship that has grown at the LLLAC transcends any particular space, and will persist long after the club. In closing, I’m reminded of a passage from A Vision for You: “Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us (again) as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.”
Michael D. Germain