27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced

Rita Mae Brown and John Waters Honored

Special Entr’acte Performances Given by Lauren Patten of the Smash Hit Broadway Musical, Fun Home and Musician Toshi Reagon

New York City-The winners of the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) were announced on the night of June 1st in a gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union. It occurred on the heels of BookExpo America, the book publishing industry’s largest annual gathering of booksellers, publishers, authors, and readers. The Lambda ceremony brought together over 550 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 27 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. Lauren Patten of the hit Broadway show Fun Home and performer Toshi Reagon graced the stage with special performances. The celebration continued in SOHO at the VIP After-Party hosted by Scholastic at the Scholastic Greenhouse & Terrace with celebrity DJ Sean McMahill spinning tunes.

The ceremony opened with an animated video by Melanie La Rosa and Johanna Campos. It cleverly symbolized the fundamental elements of the Lambda Literary Awards, as it depicted superheroes saving a town called “Gaytham” with literature. As master of ceremonies, Clinton once again stood up to the mic to bon mot her way through her fourth consecutive year as the self-described Julie McCoy, aka cruise director of the evening’s Loveboat of literary Lammy Awards. Those too young to catch the reference were encouraged “to Google it.”

Feminist legend Gloria Steinem introduced Rita Mae Brown, author of the classic, Rubyfruit Jungle, who received the Pioneer Award. Describing laughter as “an orgasm of the mind,” she praised Brown for always understanding joy and laughter. Brown described Steinem as “our North Star. If you can find her, you’ll never be lost.”

It wasn’t a love fest, but a joke fest when gossip columnist Liz Smith introduced filmmaker and author John Waters, who received Lambda’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature. Smith said, “Nowadays Andy Warhol,” speaking of the icon with whom Waters is often compared, “is a multi-billion-dollar industry, but John Waters is the real thing. John is truly sweet. Andy only appeared that way.” Waters’s entire speech was punctuated with a steady stream of one-liners. He dubbed the Lammy Awards as the Imperial margarine of queer royalty. And he dedicated the award to the original owners of the Provincetown Bookstore where he worked for a summer in his youth and where he received his true education.

In a sign of the transgender coming of age times in which we’re living, Casey Plett winner in the Transgender Fiction category for A Safe Girl to Love ended her rousing acceptance speech with, “The transgender community is taking over!” The Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Awards were presented to writers Anne Balay and Daisy Hernandez.

The special interlude performances each merited standing ovations. Musician Toshi Reagon accompanied herself on guitar as she sang “Freedom,” and “Kindness,” which she dedicated to the late author Octavia Butler. Lauren Patten, who plays the college-age version of Alison Bechdel on Broadway in the hit musical Fun Home (based on Bechdel’s graphic memoir and nominated for 12 Tony Awards) sang “Changing My Major” about the revelation of first love with another woman.

“Throughout tonight’s ceremony we were reminded of the impact that LGBT literature has on people’s lives,” said Tony Valenzuela, Lambda Literary Foundation Executive Director. “Congratulations to all the winners and honorees.”

As always, the stage sparkled with a glittering roster of presenters from the worlds of film, television, theatre, politics, religion and, of course, literature. Just some of the presenters who graced the stage were
























Transgender Non-Fiction




More photos will be uploaded throughout the week 

(Photographer: Brian Sargent)


Lambda Literary Awards Individual Underwriters

Timothy Evanson · Robert Ferrante & Tony Valenzuela · Katherine V. Forrest & Josephine Hercus
Tom Healy & Fred P. Hochberg · Larry Kramer & David Webster
Judith Markowitz & Susan Franz · David McConnell · Jay Moore · Kay Percy
Eddie Sarfaty & Court Stroud · Dr. Laura Shawver & Tracy Macuga · Charlotte Sheedy
S. Chris Shirley · Pamela Sloss · Stephen Soucy & Tom Becktold

2015 New York City Host Committee Members   

Jerome Murphy & Amy Scholder, Co-Chairs
Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Ceremony Director · Jason Wells, Publicity Chair

 John Bateman · Kevin Brannon · Jamie Brickhouse · Michael Carroll
Paul Dierkes · Dick Donahue · Michael Fauver · Paul Florez
Roman Freeser · David Gale · Antonio Gonzalez · David Groff
William Johnson · Michele Karlsberg · Elizabeth Koke
Melanie LaRosa · Mario Lopez-Cordero · Bill Miller
Dan Manjovi · Nick Nicholson · Angelo Nikolopoulos
Julia Pastore · Lori Perkins · Charles Rice-Gonzalez
Patrick Ryan · Eddie Sarfaty · Karen Schechner · S. Chris Shirley
Rachel Simon · Bob Smith · Jason Wells

Gift Bag Contributors

Atria, Curve magazine, Headmaster magazine, Penguin Books for Young Readers
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, University of Minnesota Press

Lambda Literary Board of Trustees

S. Chris Shirley, President · Susan Atkins, Vice-President
J. Michael Samuel, Treasurer ·  KG MacGregor, Secretary
 Lisa Girolami, sj Miller, Jerome Murphy, Sandra Nathan
Denise Penn, John Rochester, Amy Scholder, Jan Zivic

President’s Circle Sponsors [gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”false” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” special_effect=”none” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”2″]

Benefactor Level Sponsors [gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”false” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” special_effect=”none” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”3″]

Patron Level Sponsors [gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”false” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” special_effect=”none” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”4″]

Friend Level Sponsors [gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”false” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” special_effect=”none” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”5″]

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6 Responses to “27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced!”

  1. […] Lambda Literary Awards announced its 2015 winners this week. Congrats to all the winners and […]

  2. […] The winners were declared in a ceremony June 2nd. John Waters and Rita Mae Brown were both given lifetime achievement awards (honestly I’d say Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle is the quintessential lesbian fiction book, but I haven’t read any of these winning titles below). This list isn’t exhaustive. Not only does the Lambda Literary Awards site offer more awards than I’ve listed here, they provide a full review of every book and every author. And of course you can always dig into the archives to see who won the Lammys last year. As well their write up of the awards is more detailed than other awards ceremonies I’ve written about, describing the performances and speeches given. So if you’re curious to explore more be sure to check out their official Lambda Literary Awards Announcement. […]

  3. […] Award for Excellence in Literature. Gossip columnist Liz Smith presented the award to Waters. In “27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced!” posted June 2, 2015, on Lambda Literary, Smith said tongue-in-cheek, “Nowadays Andy Warhol … […]

  4. […] Will they hold up proudly on a resume if you were to submit to, say, the Loerie awards or the Lammys? Would it carry weight? Or is this just another vehicle to drive traffic and attention to a few […]

  5. […] asked myself after hearing Ms. Brown’s acceptance speech for the Pioneer Award at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards – aka the “Lammys”– in New York City June […]

  6. […] a full recap on the evening, check out this article. Congratulations to Robert and all other winners and nominees for their commitment to progressive, […]

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