Note From The Editor
I haven’t updated AKA William in a while. It’s been months. For a number of reasons I’ve had to step back from the daily LGBT news world, and I’ve missed it tremendously. But I couldn’t be more proud to come back today to post a remarkable article written by Ben Rimalower, The New Old Gay. Ben has written a number of great articles for AKA William, but this one, for me, is his most devastating. And wonderful.
Over the weekend, Ben sent me an email asking if I would consider coming back to AKA William to post a new article he’d written for his New Old Gay column. I smiled at the thought of the unlikely, if sweet, idea of updating the site after all these months. But then I read his attached article, and I knew I had to post it immediately. From an editorial standpoint, my feedback was pretty much limited to adding an apostrophe or two — that’s how tight his writing is in this column. From a friendship standpoint, his surgical precision in examining his struggles with alcohol hit a larger target with me than he knew.
Over the past year, alcoholism has been, if not at the center of my life, then very near it. Not that I’m an alcoholic — I’m not. But so many of the people who are or were closest to me have been battling the disease and its consequences. Family members, colleagues, friends — so many wonderful people in my life are alcoholics, both in and out of recovery, and, as I now know, the people surrounding an alcoholic are affected by the disease nearly as much as the alcoholic.
I’ve known Ben for more than 15 years, and his friendship has been one of the most important of my life. As upsetting as it is to learn that he’s been battling alcoholism (although I suppose I’ve known that for years), knowing that he is on his way to clarity and love and hope and happiness is thrilling.
For a number of easily explainable reasons, and an equal number of inexplicable ones, our community — the LGBT population — is especially vulnerable to the disease of alcoholism. But one of the lessons I’ve learned this past year is that happiness can be incredibly simple, if not always easy. In “The New Old Gay: I’m Going to Rehab” Ben confirms this.
If you have a loved one with a chronic problem, an alcohol intervention may be the best option.
(Click on page 2 to begin reading Ben’s column.)