“You should definitely let him know that you love and accept him.”
It’s no surprise that bartenders, in addition to serving drinks, often get to be a sort of therapists to their clients. Listening to people’s troubles and giving advice wasn’t an uncommon experience for Kara Coley from Gulfport, Mississippi, who’s been tending bars for 17 years now. However, this conversation was a first for her.
Recently Sipps, a gay-friendly bar where Coley is currently working, received a phone call from a worried mother, whose son just came out to her. Coley, who picked up the phone, didn’t expect the exchange that followed. “It’s definitely a different approach,” she described the mother’s unusual method of looking for advice that, at first, the bartender mistook for a prank. “Most people would just do some research on the internet or talk to the one gay they know (we all have one).”
While it can be awkward to give such intimate advice to a complete stranger, Coley first asked the mother if she accepted her son’s sexual orientation. When the mother confirmed she did, in fact, accept it, Coley kept the advice short and sweet — “You should definitely let him know that you love and accept him,” she offered. “I think everything will be ok from there!”
As Coley stated at the end of her Facebook post, even after “17 years of bartending in gay bars on the coast,” this conversation was a “first” for her. Still, despite the unusual nature of her discussion with this unknown mother, she was more than happy to field the call.
“I have had a few people that I grew up with ask advice when they found out their child or child’s friend was gay, but never as random as this phone call,” Coley explained to HuffPost. “I wish more people were eager to just ask questions. That is how you learn!”