Romance Is Gay, and Other Takeaways From 2019’s Lambda Literary Awards

Bookish queers, rejoice: Lambda Literary has kicked off Pride Month with its 31st annual Lammy Awards, honoring the best contemporary voices in LGBTQ literature.

Last night’s ceremony, held at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and emceed by the charismatic Justin Vivian Bond, saw esteemed LGBTQ writers, journalists, and essayists take home top honors.

Industry veterans like journalist Masha Gessen, black feminist scholar Barbara Smith, and writer-professor Alexander Chee (How to Write an Autobiographical Novel) received special nods from Lambda for their ongoing contributions to the world of queer literature.

A new class of Lammy winners were ushered in, too, including memoirist and NewNowNext contributor Darnell L. Moore (No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America); writer, Logo30 honoree, and previous Lambda Literary Trustee Award winner Roxane Gay (Not That Bad); children’s and young adult author Kacen Callender (Hurricane Child, This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story); and biographer and scholar Imani Perry (Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry).

Amelia Golden/Courtesy of Lambda Literary

From left: Kenyon Farrow, Darnell L. Moore, Cheryl Clarke, and Raquel Willis.

Presenters like Boy Erased memoirist Garrard Conley, Rent star Anthony Rapp, and voice actor John Roberts kept the ceremony moving and even weighed in with their own wisecracks and wisdom. (Roberts, best known for voicing effervescent matriarch Linda Belcher in Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers, offered this sage tidbit before presenting the winners for LGBTQ romance books: “Romance is gay. Love is gay. And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…”)

For a full list of last night’s winners, head over to Lambda Literary’s website.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.

@slmjournalist


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