The annual lambda literary awards are always one of the highlights of my year, they are an opportunity to celebrate the importance of LGBTQ literature, authors and readers!
This yearI had the honor of attending as a presenter for the first time- it was super nerve wracking and also really fun. I co-presented this years LGBT Anthology category with William Johnson – here we are on stage together !
The awards opened this year which a beautiful compilation video that many of us had contributed to answering lambda call about what LGBTQ book had Saved our life. I can’t embed the video here but you can watch it here
This video really set the stage for what was a beautiful evening. Part of what I love most about the Lammys is the way that queer writing and literature are celebrated, and how queer authors descend on NYC. It’s a night that I look forward to every yea, and reminds me about the amazing community of LGBTQ writers that I feel so grateful to be part of. Growing up I was never a popular kid, friendship and community was always really hard for me, I felt alone most of the time. The older I’ve gotten, the more this has changed – finding queer literary community has been a huge part of that. Queer literary community has become such an important part of my life, the source of some of my closest friendships and connections. The Lammys are an amazing opportunity to get together with queer literary folks I don’t see often!
Amber Dawn getting silly before the awards!
A huge highlight of the night for me was getting to see folks that I admire receive awards for their work. My friend the fantastic Michael Thomas Ford was a recipient of this year’s mid-career writing award and gave the sweetest speach about literary friendship he has with so many of us in the room that night – the sweet things he said about me had me in tears.
I’m so grateful to the queer literary community for writing the books that inspired me, that saved me, and encouraged me to write my own stories. All of the acceptance speeches were outstanding this year. It was incredible to see Allison Bechdel receive her Trustees Award for Excellence in Literature and hear her talk about the experience of receiving her first Lammy in 1991.
The absolute highlight of the night was getting to see Kate Bornstein accept the Pioneer Award. I believe fully that my literary career is where it is today because of the friends and mentors I have made and met. When I was 19 I met Kate, she came to Portland Oregon to lead a week long writing workshop that culminated in the creation of a performance troupe/show called “The Language of Paradox” Kate kicked my ass as a writer in ways that I really needed and she inspired me to make a big jump in my career from writing zines to writing books and helped me to harness anger that was running wild in my writing at that time.
I’m so glad that someone captured Kate’s incredible Lammy acceptance speech on video because despite my attempts at live tweeting everything about the Lammy awards 140 characters just couldn’t capture the brilliance of everything she said— definitely my favorite part was this quote “Someone pioneer a queer community that doesn’t eat it’s own
The 2014 Lammys were so fabulous, I had incredible conversations with authors, publishers, and editors – I really can’t wait until next year! You can follow more about the Lammys on twitter at #Lammys – I’m @SassafrasLowrey if we aren’t already friends over there please add me!:)