Why this woman's surprising phone call to a popular gay bar has gone viral

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Kayleigh Dray
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When this woman’s son came out as gay, she didn’t know what to do about it – so she placed a surprising call to a popular gay bar.

Kara Coley was working at Sipps Bar in Mississippi when the phone rang.

She picked it up with the same response she uses a hundred times a day (“Good evening, thank you for calling Sipps!”), expecting to be asked if about lost property, or a table booking, or… well, or any of the normal queries people tend to ask bartenders about.

She was wrong.

“Is this a gay bar?” asked the woman on the other end of the phone.

As Sipps is, indeed, a gay bar (in fact, it’s seemingly the only gay bar in Gulfport, the second-biggest city in the state), Coley replied: “Well, we’re an ‘everybody’ bar – but, yes, mostly gay.”

The woman then asked: “Can I ask you a question? Are you gay?”

Coley replied with an enthusiastic “YES MA’AM”. What happened next surprised her more than anything she has ever experienced during her 17 years of bartending – so much so that she felt compelled to pen a public Facebook post about it.

“What was the one thing you wanted from your parents when you came out?” the woman asked, before explaining: “My son just came out to me and I don’t want to say anything that may mess him up in the head.”

Coley was more than a little taken aback by the query – but she recovered quickly, and delivered some brilliantly simple advice to the worried mother.

“Well, I think that you should just make sure he knows that you love and accept it. Wait, do you accept it?”

“Yes,” replied the mother, “if that’s what he wants.”

Coley added: “Then you should definitely let him know that you love and accept him. I think everything will be OK from there.”

Coley’s post has been shared 426 times already, attracting 199 comments and 2,600 likes. Many have praised her for her “willingness to take a risk and stand with this anonymous young person”, with one writing: “I hope your own parents are so proud of you for this and all of your life choices, because only such a beautiful person could come up with such a beautiful answer.”

Speaking about the overwhelming response to indy100, Coley said: “I didn’t think I did anything special. That is just how I live my life and I feel like if more people had a little more compassion and kindness this world would be a great place.”

Coley’s words couldn’t ring truer – especially when you consider that the US government recently made it legal for religious people to discriminate against gay people.

We hope her story encourages more people to be demonstrate love, empathy and understanding, wherever they possibly can.

Images: iStock


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.