#Resist: Writer Kevin Sessums Recalls Bette Midler at the Baths & Our Need Now For “Naked Defiance”

Mister D: Kevin went to college with me for one semester. He was so cute, good looking, and still is. He’s had a great career as a journalist, author, and magazine editor (including working for Vanity Fair. He did a huge profile on her in 1991, I believe.) I’m sure if I hadn’t of been such a shy, closeted guy that semester, we would have hooked up! LOL

The WOW Report
#Resist: Writer Kevin Sessums Recalls Bette Midler at the Baths & Our Need Now For “Naked Defiance”
JUNE 24, 2018 10:50 AM

Author Kevin Sessums holds a daily Facebook sit-in for the resistance and today he’s in NYC for the Gay Pride March and had this amazing post I just had to share (with his permission of course..) It will give you all the feels and sums up where we are today perfectly.

“Well, I’m glad I checked the route for the Gay Pride march today in NYC. I came back to NYC not only to see some theatre and have a meeting about a future project, but also because I thought it was important to get my ass into the streets and raise my fist during these fascistic times in America with The Tacky Know-Nothing Fascist Vulgarian and his regime – and his Vichy Gay allies – threatening all of “the others” in society as fascists have always done throughout history.

But what is it with this new crazy-ass route that curls in along the mid-chin of the city like Bette Midler‘s sweaty red hair in the steamy Continental Baths curled in around hers after she’d sung just one more ballad because the boys around her insisted and she took a towel off a tow-headed boy’s body – let’s say his name was Kurt – to wipe her face and found it in her to curl her voice itself around something called ‘Surabaya, Johnny.’

She kept the towel, caressing it to her body as she and all the other boys gazed at Kurt’s now naked one.

This one is for you, Kurt. This is by another Kurt. His last name was Weill. Do you know him?

Kurt, the naked tow-headed kid who’d snuck into the city from Connecticut that evening telling his mom and dad he was staying with his cousin Danny who agreed to lie for him, shyly nodded his first “no” of the night.

You look like a Brecht girl.

Bette joked and back in the corner one lone old Jewish queen who’d fled the Nazislike Weill had done laughed a little too loudly, a little too sadly, a little too angrily letting everyone know he was the only one there that night who got her reference. ”

I know you guys like to fuck each other

said Bette and again wiped her mid-chin and the sweaty curl stuck there like some future Gay Pride March way downtown.

But sometimes you gotta fuck the fascists in your midst as well. Remember that, little Kurt, when you’re as old as that guy in the back who gets my jokes.

She then threw the kid back his towel but he did not wrap himself in it. He remained naked. It was the first defiant act of his life which would come from that moment on to be defined by defiance. Bette sang, and the future arrived around the third verse of that Weill song her voice found the strength to sing that night an old Jewish queen in the back corner of the Continental Baths remembered his family who could not get out of Germany in time as he stared at the naked blonde boy bound to that moment which the boy no longer a boy would remember in his last days in a hospital twenty years later. The moment would comfort him when nothing else seemed to at the end. His cousin Danny visited because Kurt’s parents wouldn’t make the drive in from Connecticut making an excuse about the traffic.

Danny played Bette singing ‘Surabaya, Johnny’ on Kurt’s Sony Walkman for him at the end. Kurt would smile and say,

I’m a Brecht girl

finally getting the joke and hearing yet again the laughter of that lone old Jewish queen from some other far off corner.

We’re all Brecht girls right now. Hear that old queen’s sad and angry laugh. And let’s take to the streets in the memory of those who marched before, laughed before, died before, and stood for the first time naked and felt the need for defiance.”

#WhatHeSaid #Resist

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