King saw none of that homophobia. Quite the opposite: He said Mateen knew that he and many of his co-workers at Ruby Tuesday were gay, and didn’t seem to have a problem with it. “That’s the thing that’s pinning me to the wall the most, that it was a gay nightclub,” King said. “Because he would come into the [the restaurant] and laugh with us.
“He might’ve even sat down at the bar and had a drink and laughed with the bartenders, knowing that they were lesbians,” King added…
Yet if Mateen was a religious extremist, King didn’t know it, and the topic of religion never came up in conversations. Instead, the two men would greet each other on the street. King likely showed him, like the rest of the employees and regulars, photos in full costume from his performances.
“I can’t pinpoint a date that he went with us, but he probably gone there with us once,” he said.