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    Why I Volunteered for Gay Bar Duty

    For all the many years I tended bar while pursuing an acting career, I was constantly hit on by my male patrons. Think about it. I was a female behind the bar forced to speak to all the male customers ordering drinks.

    Needless to say, this got old.

    Not that I minded talking to male patrons. Difference was from my perspective I was basically slinging drinks, not looking to strike up relationships. I had enough of a losing streak in that department without extending it to my workplace.

    So I was delighted when a new bar opened up in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard in what is the neighborhood known as “Boys Town.”

    It was predominantly a gay clientele so I figured my days of being hit on were going to be greatly diminished.

    What I was not counting on was something I had never experienced – gay women hitting on me.

    Not being at a loss for words very often, I didn’t know how to respond when this happened.

    I remember the woman in question in response to my announcing that I was in fact straight, saying, “What the heck are you doing in a gay bar?”

    It was one of those quagmire questions for which I didn’t have a “trippingly off the tongue” response.

    When I was living in New York City and Los Angeles, I would usually have gay, male roommates, in particular my dear friend Jacques, who is sadly no longer with us. But I found that, and I don’t want to sound like a cliché here, they were always fastidious, held up their end of rent and chores and always kept the refrigerator clean.

    In comparison, boyfriends I had had to be cleaned up after and I never had female roommates – not sure why.

    In spite of the rare awkward situation with gay women, in general I found the gay bar a good place to work and stayed there until the MS got bad enough I had to come back east.

    I just had Herman do a quick search on Google for me and although I remember it was on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega none of the present establishments rings a bell with me – it must be long gone.

    Anyway, although I often describe my career as an aspiring actor as much more a professional waitress and bartender as a means to an end job, instead it wound up being my bread and butter.

    And looking back, it wasn’t so bad.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com