How the principle of Tradition Four - a meeting’s autonomy and cooperation works with the only requirement for membership being the desire to recover - Tradition Three.
Never really having experienced any safe spaces growing up—not at home, not at school, not at work—ACA has slowly become a safe space for me. I have felt the need for even more safety, identification, and trust while sharing some of my experiences—growing up as a girl, being molested, discovering queerness, bisexuality, and pansexuality—especially with the experiences of sexually predatory behaviour/bullying in public spaces because of my gender, being a woman, or because of my sexual orientation.
It is just recently, when more meetings have moved onto Zoom, that I have found meetings for trans people, non-binaries, and women. Just being with people who share the same identities and experiences and being able to share the trauma and heal in a safe space where I feel a part of the norm, the majority, is in itself a deeply healing experience. It gives me a sense of calm all throughout the week, just knowing I am part of a tribe.
Having meetings that use restrictions of participation can make it possible for more people to recover in a deeply healing way using our Tradition Four, the meeting’s autonomy. Does it affect the fellowship at large and other groups? No, but it could lead to people that have the desire to recover becoming members of ACA according to our Third Tradition instead feeling abandoned and left out. So, it is extra important to make sure that people, especially newcomers, know about the whole range of meetings available, each with its own flavour, catering to a whole spectrum of needs.
There are always doors open to us as members of ACA.