Roxane Gay and Edmund White were honored with Lambda's Trustee and Visionary Awards, respectively. Rick Whitaker introduced Edmund White with a tribute composed entirely from sentences found in Mr. White's books. Accepting the Visionary Award, White shared, "Contained in the word novel is novelty and lesbian and gay writers have been lucky to write about this new world."
Later, Rebecca Solnit introduced Roxane Gay, who won the Trustee Award. "The word encourage literally means to instill courage, and Roxane's work is marked by both courage and encouragement," said Solnit. During her acceptance speech, Gay said, "As a woman, as a black woman, as a queer woman, writing has offered me salvation and sanctuary." She later said, "I want queer writers to create the work that they want to put into the world, regardless if all of the work does or does not meet the expectations of those who read it."
Other winners of the night included Carmen Maria Machado, John Rechy, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Barbara Browning, Bogi Takács, and more.
"What I want to leave with you tonight," said Tony Valenzuela during his remarks on his ninth and final year as Lambda Literary Executive Director, "is that, despite our continued challenges, you have a community through Lambda Literary that has your back. I feel deeply grateful to have spent the last nine years with the help of so many of you, to make Lambda Literary into a space where more of us will be seen and can thrive."
The Lammys brought out the stars from the worlds of film, television, theatre, journalism, and literature. Presenters this year included Alison Bechdel (MacArthur Fellow and award-winning author of Fun Home); Rebecca Solnit (award winning author and contributing editor at Harper's Magazine); Taylor Trensch (actor, Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway); Pamela Sneed (award winning poet); Kate Bornstein (iconic trans activist and writer), and more.
Lambda Literary's incoming Executive Director, Sue Landers, was acknowledged from the stage and begins a new chapter in the organization in July.
30th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners
Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado, Graywolf Press
After the Blue Hour, John Rechy, Grove Press
The Gift, Barbara Browning, Coffee House Press
Hunger, Roxane Gay, HarperCollins
Transcendent 2: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, Bogi Takács (ed), Lethe Press
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Haymarket Books
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity, C. Riley Snorton, University of Minnesota Press
Rock | Salt | Stone, Rosamond S. King, Nightboat Books
While Standing in Line for Death, CA Conrad, Wave Books
recombinant, Ching-In Chen, Kelsey Street Press
Huntress, A.E. Radley, Heartsome Publishing
Night Drop, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books
The Fact of a Body, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Flatiron Books
Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man, Chike Frankie Edozien, Team Angelica Publishing
Tailor-Made, Yolanda Wallace, Bold Strokes Books
Love and Other Hot Beverages, Laurie Loft, Riptide Publishing
His Seed, Steve Berman, Unzipped Books
¡Cuéntamelo! Oral Histories by LGBT Latino Immigrants, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Aunt Lute Books
LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult
Like Water, Rebecca Podos, Balzer + Bray
The Gulf, Audrey Cefaly, Samuel French
LGBTQ Graphic Novels
My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil Ferris, Fantagraphics Books
Autonomous, Annalee Newitz, Tor Books
Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness, Trevor Hoppe, University of California Press