Lambda Literary Award 2015 Winners Announced

Radical Fairy Justin Vivian Bond and Tony-award winner Alan Cumming at the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards

Radical Fairy Justin Vivian Bond and Tony-award winner Alan Cumming at the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards [image: Brian Sargent]

As we delve into our exploration theme this month, it’s not only literal mountains and streams we cross. The best exploration in books comes from our ability to put ourselves in another person’s shoes. The march of history seems to be towards acceptance. We come to recognize that different isn’t necessarily wrong. This is abundantly clear in the struggle for LGBT rights. And one way to gain a better understanding of where LGBT people are coming from is to read a good book. But where to begin? How to move past stereotypes and get something of quality?

The answer lies in the Lambda Literary Awards, which for 27 years have announced the very best LGBT writing.

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.

2015 Lambda Awards for Best LGBT Books

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! book cover The Walk-In Closet book cover Hold Tight Gently book cover

 

Best LGBT aimed at kids or YA: Five by Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

Best LGBT Debut Book: The Walk-In Closet by Abdi Nazemian

Best LGBT Nonfiction: Hold Tight Gently by Martin Duberman

Best LGBT Graphic Novel: Second Avenue Caper by Joyce Brabner

 

2015 Lambda Awards for Best Bisexual Books

Give It to Me book cover Fire Shut Up in My Bones book cover

Best Bisexual Fiction: Give It to Me by Ana Castillo

Best Bisexual Nonfiction: Fire Shut Up In My Bones by Charles M. Blow

 

2015 Lambda Awards for Best Gay Books

I Loved You More book cover  The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood book cover

Best Gay Fiction: I Loved You More by Tom Spanbauer

Best Gay Biography (Tie!): The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco
and Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr

Best Gay Mystery: Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery by Katie Gilmartin

 

2015 Lambda Awards for Best Lesbian Books

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building book cover Mysterious Acts by My People book cover Get Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery new and used in softcover

Best Lesbian General Fiction: Yabo by Alexis De Veaux

Best Lesbian Biography: Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, with Barbara Smith

Best Lesbian Mystery: The Old Deep and Dark-A Jane Lawless Mystery by Ellen Hart

Best Lesbian Poetry: Mysterious Acts by My People by Valerie Wetlaufer

 

2015 Lambda Awards for Best Transgender Books

A Safe Girl to Love book cover Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man book cover The Old Deep and Dark book cover

Best Transgender Fiction: A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett

Best Transgender Non-Fiction: Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man by Thomas Page McBee

 

For many around the world, June is known as Pride Month. I like to think this means we can all explore what it means to be different. By defining and testing the boundaries of love, sex, and gender, all people who identify as LGBT teach us about ourselves—and not just for straight folks. A gay fellow may have much to learn about what it means to be bisexual. A transgender woman may learn about the challenges of straight-looking men and women. What does it mean to be asexual? Pansexual? Pomosexual? If you’re at all curious, but don’t feel comfortable asking a friend, a book is a private window into a world of answers.

Loves nachos, Oakland, and books.

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