The winners of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced on Monday night, June 3rd 2013 in a sold-out gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton with special guest performer Janice Ian at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. The ceremony was followed by a VIP After Party at the The Sky Room at the New Museum. The event brought together almost 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 25 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. “I’ve never been more proud of our community of writers.” said Tony Valenzuela, Lambda Literary Foundation Executive Director. “I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years brings.”
The Bisexual category was announced by feminist sex educator and adult film actress Nina Hartley. This year there was a tie with both “In One Person“ by John Irving and “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B“ the posthumous memoirs of avant-garde performance artist Cheryl Burke taking pride of place in a small but extremely competitive list.
Accepting for the late Ms. Burke was her partner, Kelli Dunham who delivered a heatfelt and heartbreaking thank you saying “Every day when Cheryl was her sickest, I prayed to a god I no longer believe in for a miracle. Perhaps this book is the miracle” saying about the book, “knowing that there is an artsy freak teenager trying to escape New Jersey, a women somewhere struggling with sobriety, and a smarty pants bisexual girl living on Staten Island, all who think they are alone, and who will read My Awesome Place and know that they are not.”
This year’s trio of major LLF award recipients included John Irving who received Lambda Literary Foundation’s (LLF) Bridge Builder Award presented to him by his good friend and fellow author Edmund White. Also Augusten Burroughs recieved the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Literature presented by New York Times columnist and author Frank Bruni and Cherrie Moraga, Chicana writer, feminist, activist, poet, essayist, and playwright, accepted Lambda Literary’s Pioneer Award. The Dr. James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Prizes went to Nicola Griffith and Trebor Healey. The Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Awards went to Sassafras Lowrey and Carter Sickels.
Lending it’s support as a Patron of this important event was the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB). AIB is an American charitable foundation originally endowed by pioneering bisexual rights activist, author and therapist the late Dr. Fritz Klein to encourage, support and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge, awareness and understanding about bisexuality. Recently LLF further signaled it’s long-terms comitment to fully supporting Bisexual Literature when it named AIB Board-member and current Vice-president Denise Penn, MSW to the LLF Board of Trustees.
In addition to Ms. Penn also in attendance representing the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) were: bisexual activist Estraven, from the New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN); bisexual author and editor Dr. Aih Djehuti Herukhuti; Lammy award-winning author Author Barbara Browning; author Astrid Fiano; film-maker, author & popular Bi Magazine Media Critic Anil Vora; as well as the Brooklyn based photographer and author Efrain John Gonzalez. Also attending were several well know bisexual writers and publishers including Ron Suresha and Cecilia Tan.