Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Here Comes the Son: In His Humor-Filled New Memoir, Actor Bryan Batt Lovingly Remembers Mama and the Madcap Influence She's Had on His Life

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Here Comes the Son: In His Humor-Filled New Memoir, Actor Bryan Batt Lovingly Remembers Mama and the Madcap Influence She's Had on His Life

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"I WANTED TO CALL IT 'A MOM-OIR,' but they wouldn't let me," says actor-designer-activist and now author Bryan Butt about his autobiographical tale, She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother (Harmony Books, $24). The book is a collection of tres gay coming-of-age stories starring the New Orleans-born-and-bred writer and his heavily coiffed and perfumed Southern belle of a mother, Gayle. "It's an ode to the Steel Magnolias, Auntie Mame-ish sort of Southern woman who is, I think, a dying breed," Butt says. "There are so few of them left with the real core strength and real core heart that my mother just innately possesses."

Indeed, Mama Gayle is as charmingly nonplussed as she is loving and supportive, whether it's when she discovers her son's childhood "fetish" for her antebellum hoop skirt (she simply sends her 7-year-old "Bryanny boy" off with a kiss and a wink to a child therapist with whom Bryan eventually shares his newfound adoration of Cabaret and all things Liza) or when she first learns about her Broadway veteran son's long-hidden homosexuality. …

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