Three years ago, we were sent one of the most amazing things we’ve ever seen: a Gay Bar Rejection Tutorial. In this YouTube video, Robbie Banfitch – a writer living in Los Angeles – manages to sum up what every gay man feels at least once-a-night each time he steps into a gay bar alone.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we talked with Banfitch about his Gay Bar Rejection Tutorial.
BYT: What inspired you to create your tutorial?
Robbie Banfitch: If I recall, I was bored that day and most likely overcoming a hangover fruitlessly acquired at Akbar (my local gay bar) the night previous. In general, I tend to strike out at gay bars and in the organic world. To be honest, I almost didn’t even upload the video.
BYT: Your advice is a bit of unadvice in that it lays out everything that you shouldn’t do in a gay bar (yet, everything almost each of us seems to do each time we go out). When you want to be successful, do you find yourself having to buck against your rejection advice?
Robbie: I tend to make the same mistakes repeatedly when faced with a night about town by One: Avoiding eye contact with anyone I find attractive, until they’ve left. Two: Glowering, in general and Three: Pining for the straight bartender. When I’m out I spend most of my time trying not to look awkward, in turn forgetting to remember my gay un-advice.
BYT: The tutorial seemed to spike your popularity. Have there at least been any benefits to putting out your rejection tutorial?
Robbie: One summer afternoon I was sipping a whiskey and writing at Barracuda in Manhattan when the bartender brought me a drink. He asked “Did you do something called the Gay Bar Rejection Tutorial?” I said yes. Some patrons had recalled me from the video, so despite the embarrassment of getting recognized for gay bar “rejection” while sitting alone drinking in the afternoon at a gay bar, the free drink was, yes, beneficial.
BYT: It must also bring out the stalkers and creeps (We did set up this interview by contacting you on OKCupid). How do you deal with that?
Robbie: I handle it by ignoring most messages, good and bad, and posting the creepiest ones for entertainment value.
BYT: How do you think gay rejections in L.A. compare to getting rejected everywhere else?
Robbie: I’m one of those annoying “I don’t like L.A.” Los Angeleans, so I’ll always prefer New York and New Jersey’s rejection opportunities over the ones in my current town. Sydney had the best though. It’s always nicer to be told “no” with an accent.
BYT: Do you still have the flip phone (which appears in his two subsequent rejection tutorials)?
Robbie: I was robbed at gunpoint after leaving Akbar recently, and the bastards got my flip phone. One of the few nights I didn’t get rejected, and unfortunately the poor chap I was making out with in the street got robbed as well. I did however, replace my flip phone.
BYT: Is there hope for any of us?
Robbie: Yeah, sure. There’s hope. And there are cats…as backup hope.
To hear our own rejection horror stories, follow the @BYGays on Twitter.