Charlaine Harris, author of the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series, has been honored for her work as a straight ally at the Straight for Equality Awards, a yearly event sponsored by PFLAG. Harris, who was presented with the first ever Straight for Equality in Literature award, wrote on her blog:

When I began to write the Sookie series, over a decade ago, I made a conscious decision to parallel the struggle of vampires with the struggle of gay people to gain basic rights. I also realized that a lot of people wouldn’t care about the subtext of the books, and that’s okay, too. I’m not trying to preach. I just wanted to make a point in my own way. DaemonBooks

Michael Cunningham Elected Into Arts Academy: The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced 10 new members, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove. The new inductees will be honored in a ceremony to be held this May. YahooNews

Dan Savage Adaptation Scores Major Grant: Michael Zam, Andy Monroe and Jack Lechner won a Jonathan Larson Grant for their musical, “The Kid”, based on the book by Dan Savage. The grants are awarded each year to those who demonstrate talent and innovation in theatre. Zam, Monroe, and Lechner seek to accomplish just that:

We want to make musical theatre history. We want to tackle subject matter that no one else has touched; to break ground in formal,
structural, and musical ways; and leave our audiences challenged and entertained. We can’t understand why anyone would work in musical theater with any other goals than these. AmericanTheatreWing

Jodi Picoult’s Son Came Out As She Was Writing New Novel: Jodi Picoult, whose new novel, Sing You Home, recently debuted at No. 1 on USA Today’s best seller list, says she was in the midst of researching and writing the novel when her then 17-year-old son, Kyle, came out to her and her husband. Picoult’s new novel explores the issue of gay rights and the meaning of family by telling the story of a divorced woman who develops romantic feelings for another woman. At a recent promotional event for her book, Picoult said:

I actually started writing about this because it was so upsetting to me personally that gay rights is even an issue in this country. I travel enough to know that it just isn’t an issue anywhere else. And they wonder why Americans are so hung up on it. I have so many gay friends and I’ve known so many gay people over the years. I have gay relatives. USAToday

Joan of Arc Playwright Performs Her Work: Carolyn Gage, a respected lesbian playwright from Maine, has recently performed her one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, at the University of Victoria. Cage has authored seven books on lesbian theater and has produced more than 50 plays, musicals and shows. Gage depicts Catholic saint Joan of Arc as a teenaged lesbian runaway. Gage first performed the piece 22 years ago in a storefront women’s theater. TimesColonist

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2 Responses to “Sookie Stackhouse Creator Honored at Straight for Equality Awards”

  1. Knocked Off My Axis 15 March 2011 at 3:46 AM #

    I am less than thrilled that LAMBDA has taken this moment to give attention to the fact of yet more rewards & best seller status being bestowed upon two gay “friendly” who are both, basically, a couple of straight white, obscenely well paid / wealthy writers hardly in need of more attention or money.

    More so, there’s something nauseating about the fact that Ms. Picoult has blithely chosen to use this moment of promoting her zillionth book to jump on the LGBT band wagon and using her son’s coming out in the process to maintain her bestseller status. (I can’t help but wonder how he feels about being swept up in mom’s consumer driven consciousness raising.)

    Given the MASSIVE erosion of general book coverage and the closure of many LGBT bookstores, are we as a community of writers / readers really served by yet again standing up and applauding those (^^^already wealthy, already famous, already established) straight-yet-gay-friendly writers, when so many LGBT writers struggle for publication (forget an advance) much less the sort of publicity Harris & Picoult receive that begets … more wealthy and success? And since money – and success – so clearly defines these two, when we will be reading about their efforts to push LGBT writers at mainstream publishing houses? Or, endow chairs and fellowships for upcoming LGBT writers? Blurbs LGBT books? Mention LGBT writers while they’re touring and/or cashing royalty checks?

    The reality is, neither Harris nor Picoult will be doing J.S. (jack, it-smells-when-a-dog-stops-& crouches) for the LGBT writing community, and we all know it. If they’re so “concerned” about LGBT rights, why aren’t people calling upon them to donate MONEY (vs. Picoult’s transparent and carefully time cribbing of cred. from The Gays) to LGBT writers?

    The LGBT community’s ongoing (see, any issue of The Advocate which is basically a gay magazine about straight “friendly” politicians, pop tartlets, & hairdressers who risk nothing and gain everything by gracing us with their presence) embrace & adulation of straight identified people, no matter how “friendly,” has become embarrassing. Although LAMBDA Literary should be congratulated on maintaining a core focus on LGBT writers, putting forth the Harris & Picoult items without placing them in a larger context, or reflecting on how these writers unconsciously – or, in Harris position, possibly quite consciously – suck energy & attention from actual LGBT writers, one would think be at least worth noting.

  2. Blondy 30 June 2011 at 11:13 PM #

    Wonderful exlpanitaon of facts available here.

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