Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor

We know one celebrity who won’t be the grand marshal in June’s LA Pride Parade (unless she does it with blinders on). And there’s no question she won’t be asked to serve as a judge at West Hollywood’s annual Go Go Appreciation Day in November.

That would be Gloria Gaynor, who TMZ reports demanded that the Abbey remove all shirtless men and go go boys from her line of sight during her performance at that gay bar and restaurant on Thursday.

TMZ said a Gaynor representative said her request didn’t reflect a distaste for gay men, but stems from her religious beliefs. He noted that she also refuses to be photographed next to women in sexy garb.

At least Gaynor won’t have to worry about being cited by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which in recent months has cracked down on WeHo gay bars for the “lewd conduct” of their go go boys. In December, the ABC folks closed Here, the gay lounge next door to the Abbey for one month, citing such behavior.

The Abbey, at 692 N. Robertson Blvd. south of Santa Monica, was opened 22 years ago as a coffee shop by David Cooley and has long been viewed as one of the most popular gay bars in California, if not the United States. ┬áBut since its acquisition in 2006 by SBE Entertainment, whose founder, Sam Nazarian, is heterosexual, some gay customers have complained that the Abbey has lost its gay edge, noting the large number of straight women who go there and the fact that many of the shirtless male bartenders aren’t gay. Cooley, in an interview with Out magazine, confirmed that the intent is to make the Abbey a mixed venue. “That’s what our goal is, right? Not going to a straight bar, gay bar, black bar, Latino bar — but a place where everyone can feel welcome,” he told Out.

The Abbey’s acquiescence to Gaynor’s demand is likely to add fuel to the verbal fire raging in Boystown, the area on the western end of West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard where the city’s gay bars, restaurants and shops are clustered. Some see an effort by business and civic interests to “de-gay” the area to attract bigger outside investors and improve. In fact, Here’s Pat Rogers, in an interview with WEHOville, said he would entertain the idea of a night or a straight crowd if it would improve business.

19 thoughts on “Gloria Gaynor Says ‘No’ to Go Go Boys at the Abbey”

  1. We have to remember that everyone is entitled to an opinion. Shes there to perform and Im sure wants to be the center of attention. Its not really that horrible a request. We in the community are the ones who continue to fight for equality. Her request is about work.
    Whats sad and amazing is that Here Lounge was closed over the busiest time of the year for something done so long ago. Answer this how is it possible that will all the infractions factual and implied at the abbey they have yet to be closed for a month and sighted ?Now how is that equality ?


  3. …maybe if it detracted from her music performance…but then, why the hell would you make a tour stop at one of WEHO’s most prominent Gay bars in the first place. Ms. Gaynor is quite a contradiction. … a few Go Go Boys dancing?…”She Will Survive!”

  4. didn’t those religious beliefs stop her from performing and accepting money from a gay bar?? {{{{{{{ s.h.o.c.k. }}}}}}}}

    GET RID OF HER. THIS IS NOT GOING TO FARE WELL. She doesn’t have to come into BOYSTOWN and drag her religious beliefs into our businesses, dictate what can and can’t be done. COOLEY IS HER BITCH I GUESS. A dress code for a has been? HAHAHAHA

  6. I really don’t have a problem with her request. Performers often do things like that. But my issue is with Sam Nazarian, a straight man who now owns the Abbey and is looking to make it more of a mixed venue. And just who is it that is expected to adjust so that can happen? Gay guys, THAT’S who! This is exactly what Alfredo Diaz has been trying to tell us will happen with Cooley’s; in a few years someone else will come in to take over Cooley’s and all the assurances that have been given as to how it will be now, will change with a new owner, just as it happened in 2006 when Nazarian took over the Abbey. Diaz has taken a lot of crap from people who didn’t read far enough to see that THIS is what he was trying to warn us of. There does indeed seem to be a concerted effort to “de-gay” WeHo and we’re letting it happen.

  7. This is totally fair. When The Gay-Gay’s, the All-Gay Male Go-Go’s Celebration! would play the Eagle LA, we would RESPECTFULLY request that the erotic art films be replaced with our DVD of “The Facts of Life”. So I say “you go Miss Gaynor” PS I LOVE VALERIE CHERISH’S VERSION OF YOUR SONG!!!!

  8. I had a conversation with a WeHo gay bar manager about 2 months ago. He doesn’t work at Abbey or Here. He’s straight. He’s still employed. It begin with him saying this: “You do know that big changes are coming to West Hollywood right? The bar owners have already gotten together and decided on the direction that they want nightlight to go, and it doesn’t include you.” He forelorn of west hollywood reaching out to become the new “Hollywood nightlife” and a much more family, hetero friendly enviroment. The manager was upset about it. He’s straight, but he sites the friendly work enviroment that he enjoys, rare bar crime, no hassle work environment which he knows will end when the girls and the guys who are after them come into town.

  9. a) This is a non-issue. Plenty of performers make demands. I can think of worse things than asking that gogo boys aren’t distracting from her performance. She explicitly says it wasn’t anti-gay. But someone clearly needs to fan the flames of another “controversy.”

    b) West Hollywood nightlife is never going to be “taken over” by straight people. Everyone just take a Xanax. I think it could stand for a little diversification, though. There are no bars for gays who aren’t looking to make trips every 10 minutes to the bathroom or bounce around to the latest diva-wannabe remix. Nowhere explicitly gay that makes real cocktails. No great lounge setting. St Felix is passable if you can get a table. But the Hollywood incarnation is a lot better. Not everyone wants to sweaty gogo boys and hyper-sexualized themes every time they go out. And before the knives come out, when I’m in the mood I love tipping a gogo boy just like everyone else.

  10. Bobcat, you may be remembering Donna Summer who was ostracized for things she reportedly said, until it was discovered she had never said those things at all and the source of the rumor was a known liar. She was a devout Christian and there were some assumptions made about what she “probably” would say. I once knew some close friends of her’s and they said she was deeply hurt by those accusations.

  11. So if she wants to play Vegas but only if the slot machines are turned off and cocktail waitresses agree to wear pants suits, the casino owners would agree to her demands? She can always head to Laughlin, MO. though her music might be too cutting-edge for that crowd.

  12. I decry the de-gaying of this town and will no longer patronize The Abbey. Kookie is absolutely right. Too much estrogen already here! I just want to be surrounded by guys sometimes. And BTW, WEHOAN . . . , some of us older guys have to go to the bathroom and linger there because we’re OLD! Learn a little about our prostates, please. No one likes to wait there for several minutes waiting for “the second coming.” Trust me. It’s embarrassing enough! Don’t makes assumptions.

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