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The Abbey’s owner weighs in on bachelorette parties going to gay bars

By Ross Semple

The owner of the world-famous gay bar The Abbey has responded to criticism the bar has received in the wake of a new reality show.

Last month, TV network E! announced a reality TV series based around the staff at The Abbey. Viewers of What Happens At The Abbey will get to see what goes on behind the scenes at the legendary club, and will be given an in-depth look into the lives of the hot guys who work behind the bar every night.

However, the show has already faced criticism due to the prominence of straight characters in a series set at a gay bar.

David Cooley, the CEO of The Abbey, addressed these accusations during an interview with The Advocate. “My staff is very, very diverse.

“I have straight guys and girls, I have transgender [employees], I have gay guys, I have lesbians, people questioning themselves, and that reflects on the show.”

He also gave his thoughts on why so many gay bars are closing their door, saying that certain bars “only cater to a specific” audience. “Years ago, it wasn’t as open and accepted, being gay,” David says. “So if you wanted to see leather daddies, you’d go here. If you were a lesbian, you go to this bar. If you wanted muscle boys, you would go here. Everything had a certain label.

“Unfortunately, those bars have closed, because [being LGBT+ is] becoming accepted. Everyone gets to have fun together.”

Asked whether The Abbey is still a gay bar, David responded: “It’s a gay bar where everyone is accepted.”

“The [LGBT] community has to really stay strong together. Look after each other,” David says. He hopes that the LGBT+ community comes together, especially in the current climate. “There’s so many people out there now that are trying to hurt our community.

“And more than ever our community has to stay closer and protect each other and support each other more than any other time I’ve seen in 26 years of doing business.”

The issue of bachelorette parties attending gay bars is a controversial one. Last month RuPaul said that straight people who go to gay bars en masse need to “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Appearing on the Dinner Party Download radio show, RuPaul then said that “People who live in the mainstream and the status quo thing that everyone else is there to serve them. This is an important thing.”

David feels the same way. “I completely agreed,” he said. “We do really control it here [at The Abbey], because we don’t want to have our gay community as an accessory to their fun and their bachelorette parties.”

See what to expect on What Happens at The Abbey below:

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