Lambda Literary Awards to Honor John Waters and Rita Mae Brown


Lambda Literary announces that John Waters will receive Lambda’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature an Rita Mae Brown will receive the Pioneer Award at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (“the Lammys”). Waters and Brown will be honored along with the winning authors of 24 separate LGBT literary categories as determined by over 90 judges.


There will be a striking bisexual presence at the event and among the finalists. Bisexual actor and author Alan Cumming is among the stellar group of presenters and is a finalist, as well.

Comedienne Kate Clinton will return as Master of Ceremonies for the fourth year in a row. The Lammys bring together over 450 attendees, sponsors and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature, making it the most glamorous and prestigious LGBT literary event in the world. There will be Special Performances by Toshi Reagon and from the new Broadway musical, FUN HOME.

John Waters will be introduced by Liz Smith, to accept Lambda Literary’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature. Since 1976, Smith has brought her Texan wit, verve and nerve to a daily column for several venues and is currently syndicated in many newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and appears daily on the web, on the illustrated The New York Social Diary, the Huffington Post,, Drudge and other sites.

Waters, the honoree for Excellence in Literature, is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, art collector and the author of five books, including Carsick and Role Models. He is best known for his transgressive cult films, Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, and Polyester which star the legendary Divine. His mainstream film, Hairspray, was adapted to a long-running Broadway musical, which was adapted to a hit musical film.

Gloria Steinem will introduce Rita Mae Brown for the Pioneer Award. Brown, the Pioneer Award honoree, is The New York Times bestselling author of Rubyfruit Jungle, a landmark coming-of-age novel that launched her career as one of this country’s most distinctive voices. She’s also the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; In Her Day; Six of One; her memoirs Animal Magnetism and Rita Will, as well as several other books.

Steinem became nationally recognized as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 70s after her 1969 article, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation.” She was a columnist for New York magazine and a founder of the ground-breaking Ms. Magazine. Steinem is also working on a book about her work as a feminist organizer, to be titled Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered.

The winners of Bisexual Lammys in two categories will be announced. The finalists are:


  • Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Charles M. Blow, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Not My Father’s Son, Alan Cumming, HarperCollins Publishers/Dey Street Books
  • Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men, Editors: Robyn Ochs & H. Sharif Williams, Bisexual Resource Center


  • Best Bi Short Stories: Bisexual Fiction, Sheela Lambert editor, Gressive Press, an imprint of Circlet Press
  • Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, Ron J. Suresha, Lethe Press
  • Finder of Lost Objects, Susie Hara, Ithuriel’s Spear
  • Give It to Me, Ana Castillo, The Feminist Press
  • She of the Mountains, Vivek Shraya, Arsenal Pulp Press

Confirmed Lammy presenters in alphabetical order:

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel, author of the award-winning graphic memoir Fun Home (now a Broadway musical); novelist and children’s book author Lucy Jane Bledsoe; Justin Vivian Bond, “best cabaret artist of zer generation;” ground-breaking voice in Women and Gender studies and 2014 Lammy Pioneer Award honoree Kate Bornstein; Susie Bright, one of the first writers/activists referred to as a sex-positive feminist; Ana Castillo, leading voice in Chicana literature; deputy opinion page editor of The New York Times Sewell Chan; poet and Whiting Writers’ Award recipient Eduardo C. Corral; Alan Cumming, international, Tony award-winning star of TV’s The Good Wife and author of Not My Father’s Son; award-winning novelist, memoirist and subject of the documentary The Polymath, Samuel Delany; winner of the 2012 Cave Canem/Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize Reginald Harris; Barbara Hammer, American filmmaker specializing in experimental films dealing with gender roles, lesbian relationships and coping with aging and family; five-time Lambda Literary Award finalist and two-time winner, poet and memoirist Michael Klein; William Lung, recipient of the Stark Short Fiction Prize and Lambda Emerging Writers Retreat Fellow; bestselling author and recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship, Ayana Mathis; transgender rights activist and host of the weekly culture show So POPular! on MSNBC’s Shift network, Janet Mock; Trace Peterson, trans-woman poetry critic who teaches the first-ever class in Transgender Poetry at Hunter College; Faith Popcorn, CEO of Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, a Future-Focused Trend Consultancy; playwright and 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Fellow in Fiction, Christina Quintana; Andrew Rannells, Elijah on HBO’s Girls and Grammy winner and Tony nominee for his role in The Book of Mormon; 10-time Lammy nominee Sarah Schulman; Kevin Sessums, author of two New York Times best-selling memoirs I Left It on the Mountain and Mississippi Sissy; Michelangelo Signorile, journalist, author and host of the SiriusXM radio show The Michelangelo Signorile Show; Max Steele, performer and creator of the psychedelic porno poetry zine Scorcher; host of Sex Out Loud, a weekly radio show on the Voice of America Network, Tristan Taormino; Ellery Washington, novelist, essayist and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the Pratt Institute.

“Our astonishing lineup of presenters includes some of the most notable names of our time from politics, publishing, journalism, and entertainment,” said Lambda Literary Board President S. Chris Shirley. “This will be the most glamorous Lammys ever.”

The 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, June 1st, 2015 at The Great Hall at Cooper Union

Finalists of the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards can be found at


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