The winners of the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) were announced on June 1st, 2015 in a gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City.
The Lambda Literary Awards brought together over 550 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 27 years of the groundbreaking literary awards.
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.
In the category, Best Bisexual Non-fiction, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow was the winner for his memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a bravely personal story of self-invention, sexuality and African-American storytelling from the South.
The Best Bisexual Fiction award went to celebrated poet, novelist, and independent scholar Ana Castillo for Give It to Me, which was published by Feminist Press.
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.
Columnist Liz Smith introduced filmmaker and author John Waters, who received Lambda’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature. Waters’s 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.
Lauren Patten of the hit Broadway show Fun Home and performer Toshi Reagon graced the stage with special musical 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..
“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.”
There was an amazing roster of presenters from the worlds of film, television, theatre, politics, religion and literature. Just some of the presenters who graced the stage were: Alison Bechdel, Justin Vivian Bond, Andrew Rannells, Susie Bright, Alan Cumming, Janet Mock and Michelangelo Signorile.
(Photographer: Brian Sargent)