Back in 2001 I worked a cook for a gay bar called Sonya's Bar & Grill. It was an easy job because as a restaurant it was very slow.
Let me explain. the state of Washington has curious laws involving the serving of alcohol. It's easy to open a tavern wear you can serve only beer and wine. This explains the phenomenon of micro brews that prospered on the west coast.
However if you wanted to serve hard liquor and cocktails a drinking establish must have a kitchen facility that serves food for a certain amount of hours in the day. So many of the bars merely have a kitchen to serve the high profit margin hard liquor.
Anyway, the slowness of Sonya's allowed me to interact with our customers. Even though Sonya's was a gay bar, the variety of the clientele was impressive. The mostly gay men were of all age groups from 21 to 81 years old. Many played up their gayness, most of them did not, it opened my eyes to the complexities of your average gay man.
One complex gay man I was friends with was someone named Shelly. Shelly did not hide the fact he was gay. He looked like a shorter, stockier version of Peter Gallagher. He was a very nice friendly guy who liked doing karaoke as much as I do. He usually sang the same song, "My Way" , although he always changed the pronouns from the singular to the plural. So My Way became Our Way.
I have done a gay bar tour of Seattle once with him. He was able to drink me under the table. He liked his drink but he wasn't an alcoholic. He was a good conversationalist, peppering his sentences with "F" bombs galore and like a good gay man liked to throw the "C" word every once in a while. He would talk in graphic detail his conquests with some of the men he had the pleasure of sleeping with. Now, I only throw "F" bombs when I'm angry, if I'm having a friendly conversation and I want to sprinkle some passion in it I tend to say "God Dammit!"
Well, despite the fact that Shelly was gay, drank a lot of alcohol and cursed like a gangta rapper, He was a born-again Christian. This meant that "God Dammit" was off limits. This was the first time I noticed how offensive this was to Christians. I grew up in a Catholic household and interacted with many other Catholics and believe you me, "God Dammit" was thrown out a lot, even when the adults were refraining themselves from saying "Shit", "Fuck" and even "Bitch".
Shelly threw me off my loop when I responded to one of his more wild sex stories with "God Dammit, that's crazy!". He stopped in his tracks to tell me how offended he was with what I said. Now with me being Scanman and with some beer in me, I got defensive and tried to point out incidences in the Bible where God did indeed damn things. Shelly stood his ground and pointed out why it was offensive. My foot was entering my stomach before I shut my lip. It was a learning experience. I wasn't about to point out the contradictions about embracing the agenda of a religion that wanted to persecute people of his sexual persuasions.
Anyway, the next time I saw him he gave me a ride to his favorite karaoke place. He wanted to listen to his Christian music. He asked me if it was okay since he knew I was Agnostic.
I said no problem because it's his car and if he wants to play his own favorite music while doing me a favor who am I to quibble? He can smoke in the car for all I care and I HATE it when people smoke in the car.
Anyway, Shelly and I continued to be friends until I got fired from Sonya's and his favorite karaoke bar became a school's auditorium.