LJay saidAnd a straight bar is different how?
That was my thought, too. A lot of it may have to do with the group dynamic and the individual personalities, because you might see it at one moment in a bar or club, and not there at another time. And depending upon the clientele you might get different kinds of shit talking.
For instance, I have to laugh at the "angry old men" all hunched over their drinks at the bar, bitching & moaning about everything, from politics to other recent news items to really almost anything & anyone. Everything displeases them.
Then there are the "experts" though often only one in the group asserts himself as being the most knowledgeable on every subject. Which of course he never is, and it's very tempting to want to yell across the bar at him that he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. But then that would make you just like him.
Sports talkers are another group I avoid if I can, and carry along ear plugs in case I can't. Those also help with the off-duty drag queens, who seem to think they're still doing their loud stage monologue in exaggerated voices even when not in costume. And so it goes.
Are gay men a bit more catty than their straight bar counterparts? Perhaps, but you're really just trading one kind of shit talk for another. My solution is to cultivate friends who rarely gossip, who talk real-world, meaningful things, and who almost always keep conversations on a positive note. (Like me!