Gay Bars Lure Straights to Stay in Biz

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2009 7:09 PM CDT
Gay Bars Lure Straights to Stay in Biz
Transvestite Arieli La Diva, left, talks to drag queens Sheila Tonka, center, and Maria Pia at Punto G gay bar in La Paz, Friday, June 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)

Gay bars across the country are facing an unexpected dilemma, the Anchorage Daily News reports: Attract straight customers or close down. With Americans growing more tolerant and gay connections moving online, one gay activist says "it's like 'mission accomplished.'" But bars from Pittsburgh to San Francisco are shutting their doors as more gays integrate into the straight world.

Successful bars, like Mad Myrna's in Anchorage, are increasingly filled with women and straight couples there for the drag show. "Everybody's money is green," says the manager. Backstage, the youngest of the drag queens—Trevor "Ashley" Council, 24—is used to a diverse crowd. His fans "are the kind who are straight and more accepting of gay people," he says. "It's nice to be around those kind of people."
(Read more Drag Queen stories.)

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