This first “Defiant” story finds us, as described by the narrator, “on the precipice of Real Teen Shit.” In a small New York town, a teen explores his identity while working at the local Serenity Sweets Cafe developing friendships with the town rebels and navigating questionable adults in and around the shop. Balancing his good-boy persona with a newfound comfort from his “island of misfit toys” our narrator carves his own path.

Written by Bobby Hankinson and performed by Desi Waters, here is, “You’re Gonna Be Sweet, Boy.”

Bobby Hankinson (top right) and Desi Waters (top left) trade true tales! Photo credit: Sachyn Mital

Switching it up, tensions are high at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. A clumsy daughter fights back tears and curiosity during worship, afraid to rouse her mother’s wrath. A pinch and piercing stare is just the beginnings of a spiraling rage in this epic tale of expression, power, and, ultimately, acceptance.

Here is “Meltdown” written by Desi Waters and performed by Bobby Hankinson.

For our “Defiant” show we were not only excited to be back as an OFFICIAL 2021 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKEND EVENT but to share these incredible stories in front of our first live audience in two years at a brilliant new venue, Culture Lab LIC!

Thank you, thank you to the Brooklyn Book Festival, Lambda Literary, and City Artist Corps for helping to make No, YOU Tell It! part of New York City’s creative resurgence