They are, as we say, a ‘pilliers des bars,’ a pillar of the bar. Always there at 3 p.m. with a Sapphire and soda, smiling and enjoying cigars. They gossip, laugh, talk about the state of the neighborhood, reminisce about life before it all and before equality, where life was the struggle to not be invisible. They had all come out in times when faggot was said in a shameful whisper, leave alone a way to live, only to have the same world abandon them when they started dying.
The wars they'd been through personally and collectively created bonds that were simply unbreakable. Young gays frolic by on St. Catherine, blissfully unaware that generations before them had been forcibly removed from their experience. For the pilliers, peace and contentment was recognition from another human being, friendships where everyone lay their true selves on to the table.
Nothing else will do.