The Continental Baths
Singer Bette Midler started her singing career in the 1970s in the Continental Baths, a historic gay bathhouse in New York City, earning her the nickname "Bathhouse Betty." She was often accompanied by pianist Barry Manilow.
"Despite the way things turned out [with the AIDS crisis]," Bette says. "I'm still proud of those days [when I got my start singing at the gay bathhouses]. I feel like I was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, and I hope I did my part to help it move forward. So, I kind of wear the label of 'Bathhouse Betty' with pride."
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