In quotes

Is The Abbey still a gay bar? CEO David Cooley responds to accusations

“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.

Years ago, it wasn’t as open and accepted, being gay. So if you wanted to see leather daddies, you’d go here. If you were a lesbian, you’d 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 LGBTQ is] becoming accepted. Everyone gets to have fun together.

[The Abbey is] a gay bar where everyone is accepted.

The [LGBT] community has to really stay strong together. Look after each other. 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.

We do really control it here, because we don’t want to have our gay community as an accessory to [straight women’s] fun and their bachelorette parties.” The Abbey’s CEO David Cooley, discussing accusations that The Abbey is no longer a gay bar in an interview with The Advocate