Kristen and I attended the Lammys on Monday night, the Lambda Literary Awards ceremony to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature. I’ve attended the past four years and while neither book that I edited was a finalist this year, I hope Say Please will be next year!
And, in addition to attending and being a judge, which I was last year also, I presented the erotica category with Emmanuel Xavier, and got to rip open the envelope and pronounce the winner of the Gay Erotica category. There were beautiful speeches by Kate Millet and Armistead Maupin, who were awarded the lifetime achievement award, and by Stacey D’Erasmo (one of my favorite writers ever) for the mid-career award. I was thrilled to celebrate Tristan Taormino’s anthology Take Me There, which I have a story in, that took home the Lammy for Transgender Fiction, and I was sad to see Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme not win.
Some notable winners:
- Lesbian Debut Fiction: Zipper Mouth, by Laurie Weeks, The Feminist Press
- Lesbian Fiction: Six Metres of Pavement, by Farzana Doctor, Dundrun Press
- Lesbian Memoir/Biography: When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution, Jeanne Córdova, Spinsters Ink
- LGBT Drama: A Menopausal Gentleman: The Solo Performances of Peggy Shaw, by Peggy Shaw, University of Michigan Press
- LGBT Nonfiction: A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski, Beacon Press
- LGBT Studies: Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes, by Lisa L. Moore, University of Minnesota Press; Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality, by Margot Weiss, Duke University Press (was a finalist but didn’t win, but I am going to look this one up)
- Transgender Fiction: Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, ed. by Tristan Taormino, Cleis Press
- Transgender Nonfiction: Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels, by Justin Vivian Bond, The Feminist Press
- Lesbian Erotica: Story of L, by Debra Hyde, Ravenous Romance
- Lesbian Poetry: Love Cake, by Leah Lakshmi Piepza-Samarasinha, TSAR Publications
I tossed ’em into my Amazon store if you’d like to sort through them over there:
I am really excited to read these. I’m thinking I might make it a Lammy summer and just go for it. I’m definitely going to send this list to my book group and see what interests them.
It felt a little different this year … it was sold out, I think there were more people in attendance, and I think there were more trans folks, genderqueer folks, and people of color than I’ve seen at previous Lammy ceremonies. I hope that’s true. It also seems like the Lammys are getting way more press than they used to. The first year I attended, I went online after to confirm my notes and couldn’t find any article covering it from any publication, and now there are quite a few online publications covering them. They have definitely stepped it up and it seems to be paying off.
As a former bookseller, they have always been on my radar, but I think they are getting a little more widely noticed. Or maybe I’m just more and more involved in the queer literary scene? That could be true too. Regardless, I had a fantastic time, it was great to run into friends and to meet authors I didn’t know of before.
Here’s a full list of the winners, and I’ll keep an eye out in case they post more photos.