Two Gay Girls Singing in a Cafe

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When Harry Met Sally: Diner Scene

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in US

Five Easy Pieces: Diner Scene

Gay Family Refused Service in a Cafe

Cheers: Too Ugly to Be Gay

Spontaneous Singing at Central Perk

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Moonlight: Diner Scene

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Culinary Icon James Beard: Gay Male Julia Child

Niles Orders Coffee



Welcome to the Queer Cafe


Pull up a chair. Get comfortable. Relax. Make yourself at home. You are among friends. This is the neighborhood cafe. It is a casual intimate setting, a cozy little nook with a warm and friendly atmosphere. It is filled with cheerful and energetic voices. The cafe is a conducive place to have a pleasant chat with friends while sipping a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, or a glass of wine.

You'll notice the diverse clientele. People in the cafe are from various parts of town, from all layers of society, and from all walks of life. Many of the patrons seem to know each other and exchange greetings. But it is also a place that is welcoming of newcomers. It is an accepting and affirming place where people come for the atmosphere that bonds them together and gives them the opportunity to meet new friends.


The cafe fosters a sense of community and belongingness. Some folks regard the cafe as a refuge away from the frenzy of their work day and the worries of their everyday life. Some consider it a sanctuary or safe haven where they can get away from pressure, judgment and oppression and just be themselves. It is a sacred space.

Diner Girl

Moonlight: Diner Scene

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Gay Soldier Berated in Restaurant

Pulp Fiction Cafe Scene

Coffee House News



Let's Meet at the Cafe


"Meet me at the coffee shop so we can dance like Iggy pop"

-Red Hot Chili Peppers

"I know a place where the music is fine

And the lights are always low
I know a place where we can go
At the door there's a man who will greet you
Then you go downstairs to some tables and chairs
Soon I'm sure you'll be tappin' your feet
Because the beat is the greatest there
All around there are girls and boys
It's a swingin' place, a cellar full of noise
It's got an atmosphere of its own somehow"

-Petula Clark


"You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."

-Arlo Guthrie


"I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner
I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffee
He is looking out the window at somebody coming in
It is always nice to see you, says the man behind the counter"
-Suzanne Vega



"A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rose instead
We'll get a table near the street, in our old familiar place, you and I, face to face
A bottle of red, a bottle of white, it all depends upon your appetite
I'll meet you any time you want, in our Italian restaurant
A bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you're in tonight
I'll meet you anytime you want, in our Italian restaurant"

-Billy Joel


"Come on down to the Mermaid Café
And I will buy you a bottle of wine
And we'll laugh and toast to nothing
And smash our empty glasses down"

-Joni Mitchell

"Bruno has a lovely place, It's down on seventh street,
Bruno has a lovely place, I go there and I eat"
-Loudon Wainwright III

"I remember the times we spent inside the Sad Cafe
Oh it seemed like a holy place protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud the things we could not say
We thought we could change this world with words like love and freedom
We were part of the lonely crowd inside the Sad Cafe"



"That little coffee shop is where we used to go
When life was good and happy.
We didn’t have a care in the world,
Inside that little coffee shop."



Niles Orders Coffee

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Coffee House News



Perfect Social Setting


So, what is a cafe? And what does it symbolize? Cafes really are more than just places to eat a meal. Restaurants and dining establishments of all types (cafe, coffee shop, bistro, lounge, club, eatery, diner, bar, pub, tavern, saloon, hangout, dive) seek to not only serve delicious food and drink, but to offer a positive social experience.

Cafés have been established as staples of society in industrialized nations throughout the world. Cafés offer a pick-me-up before work, a reward after a long day, a stimulating environment for creativity, thought, and lively discussion, or simply a place to relax and spend time with friends.

Cafes and coffee shops provide the perfect informal setting for social interactions, conversations, meetings, mingling, and hanging out. These venues lend themselves to gathering places, meet ups, study halls, surrogate offices, chess games, reading rooms, intellectual salons, discussion groups, book groups, and social centers.


Cafes and coffee houses continue to be venues where people gather to talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time. Some research suggests that we use light hearted conversation to establish and maintain our connection within a group, as well as for mere information transfer. So, by providing a space for regular, but unplanned, interaction with members of the community, cafes, coffee houses, diners, and bars may play a role in creating social networks, and therefore encouraging community values.


These kinds of public venues are so socially conducive that sometimes a circle of friends might replicate the experience by gathering at someone's home for a private dinner party or salon.


Moonlight: Diner Scene

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Niles Orders Coffee

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Steve Working at the Peach Pit

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Diner Girl



Famous Queer Bars, Pubs, and Taverns


Stonewall Inn - Christopher Street, Greenwich Village NYC

The Pulse Nightclub - Orlando FL

Gene Compton's Cafeteria - San Francisco CA , Tenderloin District

Twin Peaks Tavern - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Swinging Richards - Atlanta GA

Sidetrack - Chicago IL

The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Larry's Lounge - DuPont Circle, Washington DC

Therapy - Hell's Kitchen NYC

Hamburger Mary's, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Bulldogs Bar - Atlanta GA

Bourbon Pub & Parade - Bourbon Street, New Orleans LA

Club Cafe - Boston MA

Roundup Saloon - Dallas TX

Al's on Seventh - Birmingham AL

Moby Dick - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Cubbyhole - East Village NYC

Pecs Bar - San Diego CA

Hunters - Fort Lauderdale FL

Roscoe's Tavern - Chicago IL

Pilsner Inn - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Tribe - Nashville TN

Duplex Cabaret Theatre - Christopher Street, Greenwich Village NYC

Gym Sports Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Rain on 4th -Austin TX

Q Bar - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Our Place - Birmingham AL



Third Place


How did cafes and coffee houses become our home away from home? Coffee houses have been around since people began drinking coffee, but their cultural impact seems bigger than ever before. According to sociologist Ray Oldenburg, coffee houses are a kind of “third place,” an important social setting outside of home or work. The "third place" is defined as a neutral location which serves as a meeting ground that is accessible to everyone regardless of status. They are focused on community, conversation, and creative interaction. Other significant “third places” are bars, parks, barber shops. Historically, neighborhood bars have served as the “third place” on television shows. Coffee shops were still aligned with counterculture and not considered mainstream. Hit TV show “Cheers” took place almost entirely within a bar. That trend began to change in the 1990s with huge shows such as “Seinfeld” and “Friends” that placed coffee shops at their center.


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Queer Coffee



Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Cafes and coffee shops (indeed also bars, bistros, and diners) are iconic in American media, including television, film, and music. It is noteworthy to consider how meaningful conversation, profound discussions, and insightful discourse often takes place when people are gathered around a table sharing a drink or a meal. Placing characters and action in a bar, diner or cafe has proven to be an effective story-telling device.

Name the Venue

Duffy’s Tavern – Duffy’s Tavern

Grant’s Toomb – The Corner Bar

Mel's Diner - Alice

Café Grumpy - Girls

Peach Pit - Beverly Hills 90210

Central Perk Coffee Shop - Friends

Cheers Bar  - Cheers

Café des Deux Moulins - Amélie
Monk's Diner - Seinfeld

Cafe Nervosa - Frasier

Dorsia - American Psycho
J.J.'s Diner - Parks and Recreation
Chotchkie's - Office Space
Arnold's - Happy Days

Hitching Post - Sideways

Hawthorne Grill - Pulp Fiction

Jack Rabbit Slim - Pulp Fiction

The Pie Hole - Pushing Daisies

Fells Point Diner - Diner

The Brick Saloon - Northern Exposure

Paddy's Pub - Always Sunny in Philadelphia

L Street Tavern - Good Will Hunting
Luke's Diner - Gilmore Girls

MacLaren's Pub  - How I Met Your Mother

P.J. Clarke's - Mad Men
Katz’s Delicatessen - When Harry Met Sally
Chubbie’s - Boy Meets World

Tip Top Cafe - Groundhog Day

Bait Shop - The OC

Williamsburg Bar - Two Broke Girls

Pat & Lorraine’s Coffee Shop - Reservoir Dogs

Johnie's Coffee Shop - Big Lebowski

Joe's Bar - Grey's Anatomy

Rear Window Brew - Pretty Little Liars

Twin Peaks - Double R Diner

Soul Food Cafe - The Blues Brothers

Moe's Bar - Simpsons

101 Coffee Shop - Swingers



Duffy’s Tavern

The Corner Bar


How I Met Your Mother


Grey's Anatomy



Pushing Daisies

Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Koji and Kate

Mad Men

Twin Peaks

Happy Days

Full House

Two Broke Girls

The Cafe




My Dinner with Andre

Pulp Fiction


Babette's Feast

Easy Rider

Reservoir Dogs

When Harry Met Sally


Groundhog Day



Coffee and Cigarettes

You've Got Mail

LA Story

Girl in the Cafe

Taxi Driver

Notting Hill

Lady and the Tramp

Big Lebowski

True Romance

Soul Kitchen

Five Easy Pieces




Cool Hand Luke

Big Night

American Graffiti
















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Spontaneous Singing at Central Perk

Function and Design of Cafes Throughout Time

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Steve Working at the Peach Pit
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Cafes, Bars and Diners From Film and Television
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Memorable Diner Scenes in Movies

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Social Dynamics of Coffee Shops

Niles Orders Coffee

Cafe Signs



Sad Cafe (Eagles)

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel)

Alice's Restaurant (Arlo Guthrie)

Bruno's Place (Loudon Wainwright III)

Diner (Martin Sexton)

I Know a Place (Petula Clark)

Cafe Society (Al Stewart)

Tom's Diner (Suzanne Vega)

Mary's Place (Bruce Springsteen)

Sunset Grille (Don Henley)

The Slant/The Diner (Ani DiFranco)

Diner (Widespread Panic)



LGBTQ Safe Spaces


New York LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Chicago LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Orlando LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

San Diego LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

News Orleans LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Sydney LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tallahassee LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Detroit LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Atlanta LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

London LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Houston LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

St. Louis LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Toronto LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Birmingham LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Harlem LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tokyo LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants



Cafes Versus Bars


"Can there be something like gay cafés, libraries, and frozen yogurt shops, instead of only gay bars and nightclubs? There’s no reason why our safe spaces should only be surrounded by alcohol and loud music, because that’s not a safe space for everyone."

-Blue Ajax, 2019

"We need more LGBTQ spaces outside of bars and nightclubs, which typically translates to queer libraries, frozen yogurt shops, and, naturally, cafés. These places, the argument goes, are inherently more inclusive and accessible than their nocturnal alternatives. The simple truth is that spaces focused on sex and alcohol (as important as they have been and continue to be for queer survival) are always going to be somewhat exclusionary."

-Samantha Allen, Daily Beast, 2018



"So if the café discourse people are already gradually getting what they want, why is this still a thing? What’s driving arguments against the supposed hypersexuality, danger, and inebriation of our (remaining) nightlife spaces? Should queer culture trade disco balls for decaf lattes in the name of inclusion? The roots of it aren’t hard to identify: The main goal of queer activism for two decades was marriage equality, and now we’ve won it. So much of the public relations that got us to this point were predicated on the idea that queer people, queer love, and queer culture were exactly like the respectable, heterosexual versions of those things. Certainly, there are many queer people for whom that rings true, but it’s not the case for many others. Even so, it sometimes feels like the dignified mood of the marriage equality push has seeped into the broader queer culture, such that forms of queer life that don’t conform to it feel suspect, retrograde, or unwelcome. It’s this impulse to respectability that I think much of the café discourse is coming from. But what’s interesting about it is that, because outright moral scolding is uncool, arguments are instead made under the banner of inclusivity. The nightlife scene, this logic has it, is bad because it is exclusive of people in problematic ways."
-James Factora, Slate, 2019


"Someone needs to start a queer cafe. Like a gay bar but instead of alcohol and strippers. Puns and rainbow themed foods, beanbags in one corner, chill music, just a warm, safe place for LGBTQ minors to hangout and go on dates without paying too much or fearing for their safety."

-Zoe M, 2018

"There should be LGBTQ coffee houses or bookstores instead of just dance clubs and gay bars. So minors could have a safe place to meet fellow family.  And it would lower alcoholism in the LGBTQ community."

-Facebook Meme, 2020



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Queer Coffee



Salon Culture


A salon is a gathering of people in the home of an inspiring host or in a public café, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. They feature food and drink along with deep intellectual and political discussions. For more than just socializing, they are a forum, piazza, or town hall.

Salons were invented in Italy in the 16th century and flourished in France in the 17th and 18th centuries. Salons in the tradition of the French literary and philosophical movements of the time were carried on until as recently as the 1940s in urban settings.

You can gain insight into these intellectual and literary salons by reading Ernest Hemingway’s book, A Moveable Feast in which he talks about time he spent at the Paris home of the premiere lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, who hosted regular get-togethers in the 1920s.


The Stein-Toklas salons, at 27 Rue de Fluerus in Paris, featured the "Lost Generation" of poets, writers, painters, sculptors, and political figures. Their guests included such iconic folks as Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, Thornton Wilder, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. To have a piece of your art displayed there was a validation of your place among the most relevant artists of the time. A standing invitation to attend was the equivalent of inclusion on a modern day who’s who list.

Dorothy Parker's Algonquin Round Table in New York City was another famous intellectual and literary salon. It was a group of writers, critics, actors, and wits. The members of "The Vicious Circle", as they dubbed themselves, gathered for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until 1929. At these luncheons they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay, and witticisms that, through the newspaper columns of Round Table members, were disseminated across the country. Guests included Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, Noel Coward, Tallulah Bankhead, Franklin Pierce Adams, Marc Connelly, Heywood Broun, Ruth Hale, Harold Ross, Frank Sullivan, and others.


These multidisciplinary gatherings of interesting and thoughtful people offer exposure to new ideas, powerful questions, and learning outside of the confines of classroom education. They offer an opportunity to expound, opine, and debate. They address current events, important issues, and profound ideas. They inspire. They ask big questions.

For a new generation of LGBTQ people, salons might suggest the model for a new and rising notion of the queer café. There is a variety of optiopns: an intimate dinner party in someone's home, an after-work meeting of colleagues at a local pub, or a gathering of friends at a quaint coffee shop. Quite different from the gay bar experience, this coffee house concept offers a quieter, more subdued venue for LGBTQ folks to gather and connect at a more personal and philosophical level. Considering possible alternatives to the gay bar scene, there has been some discussion in the queer community about the growing need for inclusive and affirming places to gather for friendly interaction and deep conversation.

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Algonquin Round Table

Modern Intellectual and Literary Salons

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Gertrude Stein's Paris Salons

Salon Culture: Network of Ideas

Coffee House News



Inside That Little Coffee Shop

There’s a little coffee shop
Down an avenue, I like to walk.
It smells like I imagine you still do,
Inside that little coffee shop.

That little coffee shop is where we used to go
When life was good and happy.
We didn’t have a care in the world,
Inside that little coffee shop.

Looking back on that little coffee shop,
It still amazes me how much things have changed.
I would never have imagined that you could hurt me like this
Inside that little coffee shop.

That little coffee shop still feels like home to me,
Its warm fire still makes me glow.
But it will never be the same without you
Inside that little coffee shop.

In that coffee shop is where you first showed me
How it truly felt to be loved.
I would never have realized that your love would lead to this,
Inside that little coffee shop.

As I walk past that little coffee shop
I am hit, again and again, with the familiarity that our love is over.
I walk past in the knowledge that I will never see you again
Inside that little coffee shop.

That little coffee shop will always be my home for you,
Its where my memories of you
Have laid to rest. It will always be
Inside that little coffee shop.

-Emma, April 2019



LGBTQ Interest Groups


LGBTQ Meet Up Social Groups Worldwide

Lesbian and Gay Meet Up Friends Groups Worldwide

Meet Up Gay Professionals Group

Meet Up Lesbian Professionals Group


Iconic Diner and Dinner Scenes


Notting Hill: The Last Brownie Contest

A single brownie acts as a catalyst for one of the most insightful scenes of this movie. In this lighthearted competition for the last brownie at a dinner party, several of the characters, including the two principal ones, Anna and William, open up a bit and the audience gets interesting tidbits about the characters’ pasts and/or a better sense of how each character views the world and their own futures. Julia Roberts’ character in particular, Anna, steals the show in this scene, with her surprising candor, as she competes for the saddest story to get the brownie. Anna admits to being a victim of physical abuse in a past romantic relationship and to having multiple plastic surgeries. Her mini-reality-check speech shows that there is a dark side to being the most famous actress in the world. And it all starts with a brownie and Anna’s admission that she has been on a diet for the past decade.


Moonlight: The Diner Scene

This is simply the most exquisite scene in film--not the most exquisite scene in this film, but in the medium of film. Not much dialogue, which is consistent with the way this coming-of-age love story is told. Every facial expression, sound, and camera angle (à la Spike Lee) is used purposefully. This scene could have been its own short film. Kevin (Andre Holland) and Black (Trevante Rhodes) sit in the diner becoming reacquainted with one another, holding the entire time that there is no one else on this planet that know them better than they know each other, and there is nowhere else in the universe they would rather be, than in this diner, at this very moment. They are courting and flirting. Although both are nervous and pretending to be comfortable, joy and anticipation seep through their pores. It just feels right. From the gulping of the wine to the Cuban meal prepared with such sedulous hands, to the faint sound of the beach when the diner door opens. Everything is right, for once.

Sideways: The Pinot Noir Speech

It’s easy to gloss over that whole "list of favorites" part of any getting-to-know-you sort of conversation. Things like favorite colors, food and leisure activities seem so boilerplate to mention that they often get lost among other topics of small talk, like the weather. The great thing about Paul Giamatti’s Pinot Noir wine monologue is that it takes what would normally be a banal first date conversation and magnifies it to show us just how something as small a preference in wine type can be significant. The way Giamatti’s character, Miles, speaks so passionately about this one wine varietal, tells us far more about Miles than it does about the wine. His wine monologue also reveals to us how Miles loves and, more importantly, how he’d like to be loved. Like the grape he describes, Miles is "temperamental" and craves the "constant care and attention" that only "the most patient and nurturing of growers" could provide.


Schitt's Creek: The Wine Analogy

In an episode from Schitt's Creek's first season, David Rose (Dan Levy) tries to explain his sexuality to Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire). Using a wine analogy, David, who is pansexual, talks about drinking red and white wine. "So, just to be clear, I'm a red wine drinker," Stevie begins. "I only drink red wine. And, up until last night, I was under the impression that you too only drank red wine."  David responds, saying, "I do drink red wine. But I also drink white wine. And I have been known to sample the occasional rose. And a couple of summers back I tried a merlot that used to be a chardonnay."  Stevie sums up, "So, you're just really open to all wines."  And David concludes, "I like the wine and not the label."

When Harry Met Sally: Diner Scene

“Are you okay?” Harry asks Sally as she starts moaning across the table from him at a crowded New York deli. Billy Crystal’s character doesn’t know it yet, but his best friend (played by Meg Ryan) is about to win an argument in an unusual way. “Oh, God,” Sally says, running her hand through her golden curls and down her neck, tossing her head back as her moans get louder. Harry puts his sandwich down, a look of defeat on his face as he realizes he’s about to watch his best friend prove him wrong — by demonstrating in public that, yes, women fake orgasms. Just watch and listen, buddy. You’ll see how hard it is to tell if someone’s pleasure is real, or manufactured for your own satisfaction. Sally smacks her hand on the table, yelling “Yes! Yes! Yes!,” as the other diners turn to watch. Sally caps it off with a triumphant bite of coleslaw and a smile. The scene lasts only three minutes, but its impact has endured for decades. The scene’s punchline, “I’ll have what she’s having,” uttered by Estelle Reiner, mother of the film’s director, Rob Reiner, ranks 33rd on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movie quotes of all time. “The orgasm scene became bigger than the movie it came from,” Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote in a book about his friendship with Nora Ephron, who wrote “When Harry Met Sally” It was the moment women realized this thing they were doing in private was, in fact, universal. It was the first time many men learned about the charade. But it also gave viewers a specific, and perhaps skewed, picture of how pleasure should look and sound.

The Corner Bar


The Corner Bar was a TV series that ran from 1972 to 1973 about the life and times of the patrons of Grant’s Toomb, a New York tavern owned by Harry Grant and later by Mae and Frank. Actors included Shimen Ruskin, JJ Barry, Bill Fiore, Gabriel Dell, Joe Keyes, Langhorn Scruggs, Anne Meara, Eugene Roche, and Ron Carey. It was the first American sitcom to feature a recurring gay character (Peter Panama portrayed by Vincent Schiavelli).



Cheers: Boys in the Bar


"The Boys in the Bar" is the 16th episode of the first season of the American situation comedy television series Cheers. It originally aired in 1983 on NBC. It is co-written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs and directed by James Burrows. This episode's narrative deals with homosexuality, coming out, and homophobia. It was inspired by the coming out story of former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player, Glenn Burke. In this episode, Sam's former teammate, Tom (portrayed by Alan Autry) reveals his homosexuality and Sam slowly becomes supportive of him. The bar's regular customers express their disdain toward Sam's support and fear that because of Sam's support of Tom, the bar will become a place full of homosexuals.

[Source: Wikipedia]



Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar


Midway through its first season, Cheers did a gay episode that not only stands up well today, nearly 35 years later, but also encapsulates everything the show would do well during its subsequent decade on the air.

Titled "The Boys in the Bar," the episode is lean. There is no B plot and it unfolds in two acts that each contain one long scene. However, in these two scenes, the audience gets to see Sam Malone (Ted Danson) come around to supporting his former teammate, who has recently come out as gay. And then he decides that he supports all gay people, even the ones he doesn’t know personally and even if they decide to congregate at his bar.

What’s great about "The Boys in the Bar," aside from Sam’s growth, is that it positions Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) as an advocate for gays. Even when everyone else in the bar wants Sam to throw out some gay-seeming customers in an effort to stop Cheers from turning into a gay bar, Diane reminds them all how ridiculous they’re being and that their objections are rooted in bigotry.

Sam eventually comes to understand this too, and when Norm (George Wendt) questions what kind of bar Cheers is turning into, Sam says he doesn’t care, so long as it doesn’t became "the kind of bar I have to throw people out of." Diane’s response is great: "That was the noblest preposition you ever dangled."

Throughout this commotion, Diane has maintained that there are already gay men in the bar, and most everyone assumes it’s the new guys. One has a killer mustache, one is sporting some tight jeans, and they both ordered light beers. In the final moment, however, it’s revealed that the homosexuals are actually two of the barflies who have been in the background the entire time. They both lean in to give Norm a peck on the cheek, and while that is this episode’s corniest moment, there’s still something to be said for it: that gay people don’t always look gay. They’re not necessarily young or good-looking. They look like just anyone and everyone.

[Source: Drew Mackie, Gayest Episode Ever]



Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar


I was watching episode 16 of season one of Cheers: "The Boys in the Bar."  And wow. In this episode, Sam is inspired by Diane to show support for an old fellow baseball player who's recently come out. It's a nice moment undermined only by an odd moment where Sam furiously tells Diane that he thinks guys should be guys. Only, that's just the first act. The main thrust of the episode centers on the story appearing in the paper, and the bar regulars deciding that, and then struggling with the idea that, the bar is about to become a gay bar, just like an old pub they used to frequent, and they decide to abandon Cheers and go find a new bar. Sam is pushed to the verge of throwing three customers out because they're gay, although thanks to Diane being the only non-bigoted character, he doesn't, and has a nice line about not letting his bar become a place where anybody isn't welcome. The ending is also on Diane's side, with the twist that the homosexual customers were actually straight, and two of the angry mob were actually the gay customers.

But, in between those scenes, much of the episode focuses on the regulars, those lovable, friendly characters, Norm, Cliff (John Ratzenberger), Carla, unironically espousing pretty hateful views about homosexuality, demanding Sam run them out of the bar, and then taking matters into their own hands when he doesn't, and doing it themselves.

Now, the episode is supportive of homosexuality. It's pushing the message that homophobia is wrong, and I think trying to display that that sort of thing was accepted in sports bars of the like, even though the whole thing is reprehensible. But the whole thing has such an odd tone to it, the lovable characters are openly homophobic, their lines treated as fairly comical. Sam at several points in the episode is incredibly close to declaring disapproval of homophobia, or tossing homosexual customers out on their ear.

Obviously this is representative of issues the writers saw, and obviously that's the message they wanted to send. I'm not saying I wanted it spoon-fed to me. But the whole thing had such a weird feel to it, that I just... I guess maybe that was the point of it. What better way to get people to think about homophobia than to have some of the most lovable characters on TV show it off in a pretty harsh manner?

[Source: British Hobo, Reddit]


Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar



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