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Hilton Als, Luis Negron, Chinelo Okparanta & Nicole J. Georges Among LAMMY Award Winners

Hilton Als, Luis Negron, Chinelo Okparanta & Nicole J. Georges Among LAMMY Award Winners

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Tears and laughter aplenty at the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, which also honored Kate Bornstein & Alison Bechdel

Last night's Lammys (aka, the Lambda Literary Awards), hosted by Kate Clinton, began with a powerful montage of video clips from the "What LGBTQI Book Changed Your Life" campaign and continued to touch on many of the reasons why writers and publishers of queer work remain vital and vibrant in the cacophany of choices present in 21st-century culture.

Many authors featured and profiled by Out were among the nominees and winners, including Luis Negron (Gay General Fiction), Rigoberto Gonzalez (Gay Poetry), and David Levithan (LGBT Children's/YA). Hilton Als got things off to an unexpected start when accepted his award for Best LGBT Nonfiction for his book White Girls, by thanking "warriors" like Solange, referencing the spat between the singer, her sister Beyonce, and Jay-Z,

That was just a warm-up, however, compared to the rousing speech offered by Kate Bornstein, who was honored with Lambda's Pioneer Award. After being thanked for saving so many others' lives, she then thanked the people who have helped save her life--mentioning her ongoing battles with low self-esteem and cancer--and then praised trans women of color by citing Laverne Cox and Janet Mock in particular as the new faces of transgender movement. Bornstein didn't stop there. but also name-dropped "tranny" RuPaul (referencing her defense of the word that she's written about on her blog). By the end she received a standing ovation from those assembled.

Another crowd favorite, Alison Bechdel was presented with the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence (by cartoonist Justin Hall) and shared a humorous remembrance of her first Lammys event in 1991 and the road that got her to this point. She then presented the first award for the new category of best LGBT Graphic Novel to Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges (pictured below).

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Although several people mentioned a "lack of diversity" and a need for greater breadth of awards, in fact there were quite a few people of color, ethnicities, nationalities, and genders celebrated during the event that took place in the Great Hall of Cooper Union and was attended by over 500 fans of queer literature. The biggest hope: that people continue to read, buy, and love books so that these writers can continue to do what they love so much.

A full list of the 26th ANNUAL LAMBDALITERARY AWARD WINNERS:

GAY GENERAL FICTION

  • Mundo Cruel: Stories, Luis Negron; translated by Suzanne Jill Levine, Seven Stories Press

LESBIAN GENERAL FICTION

  • Happiness, Like Water, Chinelo Okparanta, Mariner Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

LGBT DEBUT

  • Descendants of Hagar, Nik Nicholson, AuthorHouse

BISEXUAL FICTION

  • My Education, Susan Choi, Penguin Group/Viking

TRANSGENDER FICTION

  • Wanting in Arabic, Trish Salah, TSAR Publications

LGBT NONFICTION

  • White Girls, Hilton Als, McSweeney's Publishing

TRANSGENDER NONFICTION

  • The End of San Francisco, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, City Lights Publishers

BISEXUAL NONFICTION

  • The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television, Maria San Filippo, Indiana University Press

GAY POETRY

  • Unpeopled Eden, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Four Way Books

LESBIAN POETRY

  • Rise in the Fall, Ana Bozicevic, Birds, LLC

LGBT GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir, Nicole J. Georges, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

LGBT CHILDREN'S/YA - TIE

  • If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan, Algonquin Books
  • Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

GAY MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

  • A Heaven of Words: Last Journals, by Glenway Wescott, Ed. Jerry Rosco, University of Wisconsin Press

LESBIAN MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

  • Body Geographic, Barrie Jean Borich, University of Nebraska Press

GAY MYSTERY

  • The Prisoner of the Riviera: A Francis Bacon Mystery, Janice Law, MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Media

LESBIAN MYSTERY

  • High Desert, Katherine V. Forrest, Spinsters Ink

GAY ROMANCE

  • Into This River I Drown, TJ Klune, Dreamspinner Press

LESBIAN ROMANCE

  • Clean Slate, Andrea Bramhall, Bold Strokes Books

GAY EROTICA

  • The Padisah's Son and the Fox: an erotic novella, Alex Jeffers, Lethe Press

LESBIAN EROTICA

  • Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories, Ed. Sacchi Green, Cleis Press

LGBT ANTHOLOGY

  • FICTION Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction, Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba, MaThoko's Books
  • NON-FICTION Who's Yer Daddy?: Gay Writers Celebrate Their Mentors and Forerunners, Eds. Jim Elledge and David Groff, The University of Wisconsin Press

LGBT DRAMA

  • Tom at the Farm, Michel Marc Bouchard, Talonbooks

LGBT SF/F/HORROR

  • Death by Silver, Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold, Lethe Press

LGBT STUDIES

  • Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence, Christina B. Hanhardt, Duke University Press
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