While there are many front-and-center folks who have become well-known in LGBT history, there are a thousand more who live a quiet, deliberate life, but still have as great an impact. Annie Kaylor was one of those people. From The Washington Blade:
Annie Kaylor, a bartender and night manager of Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse near Dupont Circle who became the gay-friendly restaurant’s namesake and public face for more than 30 years, died July 24 of natural causes. She was 86.
People who knew her, both gay and straight, have said Kaylor became a beloved figure on the 17th Street residential and business strip since she began working at the restaurant in 1952, four years after her brother George Katinas opened the then Paramount Steakhouse in 1948.
“Her commitment to impeccable service with a fun attitude, welcoming hospitality to all, and unwavering support to the GLBT community and Dupont Circle neighborhood has set a high standard for everyone else to follow,” according to a message posted on the restaurant’s website prior to her death.
Sevilla said one story he has heard repeatedly from older customers who knew Kaylor back in the 1960s appears to capture her warm personality.
“In the late ‘60s or early ‘70s there were two men sitting at a table and she saw that they were holding hands under the table,” Sevilla said he recalls customers telling him. “And she walked up to them and she sort of startled them. She said, ‘You guys don’t have to hold hands under the table.’ She said, ‘No, no – you hold those hands right up here on top of that table.’”
If you’ve got a local, gay personality that you think brings something special to the community or to our history, send me an article on them. I’d be glad to highlight them as well.