Our annual reading by finalists for the year's Lambda Literary Awards is one of our most inspiring and enjoyable events. On April 13 Lambda Literary Foundation's new E.D. Tony Valenzuela and LLF Board President (and prolific author) Katherine Forrest hosted 15 writers, who each packed into a 5-minute segment an unique and personal expression of the LGBT experience.
While each author was engaging, it's impossible in a short article to describe each presentation. Here are a couple of highlights: Tommi Avicolli-Mecca read from the anthology he edited called Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation, which describes the lives of lesbians, gay men, and trans folks in many US cities and rural communities, long before the fight for Same-Sex Marriage Rights overshadowed a movement less concerned with assimilation.
Cinderella with a twist? Ash, Malinda Lo's young adult novel brings romance and fantasy together and her strong female protagonist will excite many readers. Ash was also nominated for a Northern California Book Award. Minal Hajratwala's Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents brought forth a gender-blending side of Indian culture through transcendent language. And Patrick Latellier presented his essay on his personal diva, Queen Elizabeth the First (from the anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspired Them.
The 22nd Lambda Literary Awards will be held on Thursday, May 27 at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City.