The 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Winners Have Been Announced, So Let's All Toast To The Best In LGBTQ Lit
Kicking off National LGBT Pride Month in bookish style, the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (aka Lammys) winners were announced Monday night in a literary-star studded ceremony at the The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York. According to the Lambda Literary website, this year’s ceremony celebrated 27 years of honoring “exceptional writing about queer lives across multiple genres.”
Getting the party started, Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle, and author and filmmaker John Waters were honored with special awards for lifetime achievement and excellence in literature. Waters called the Lammys “the Imperial margarine of queer royalty.” In a landscape where many U.S. states still have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and where LGBTQ people face hate and violence regularly, celebrating literature about queer live is vital. And it’s also a lot of fun. Hosted by comedian Kate Clinton, opening with an animated video in which literary superheroes saved a town called “Gaytham,” and featuring performances like a preview of Fun Home, a Broadway play adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel of the same name, the Lammys seemed to be more party than stodgy literary award ceremony.
But you didn’t have to be there to reap the benefits of this seriously dope event (though you might want to start working on how to finagle your way in for next year). The books by the winners and finalists make for a pretty fantastic reading list for Pride Month and beyond.
Big winners included Charles M. Blow, who won the award for Bisexual Nonfiction for Fire Shut Up in My Bones, his intimate memoir of a journey through race, sexuality, and poverty. Blow invoked author Toni Morrison in his acceptance speech:
There was a tie in the Gay Memoir/Biography category between John Lahr for his biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh and 2013 Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco for his memoir The Prince of Los Cocuyos. In case you missed it, Blanco read at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration and became the first immigrant, first Latino, and first gay person to be chosen as an inaugural poet.
Alexis de Veaux’s Yabo won for Lesbian General Fiction, and Ana Castillo won in the category of Bisexual Fiction for her novel Give It To Me about a recently divorced Latina woman who begins to explore her sexuality.
Already having drawn attention for being the first depiction of two boys kissing in middle school fiction, Tim Federle's Five, Six, Seven, Nate! won in the LGBT Children's/Young Adult category.
You can see the rest of the Lambda Literary Award winners at that link right there.
Some of the best moments and congratulations for these badass writers and performers were captured by attendees and fans on Twitter:
Major kudos to the nominees and winners.