The 2019 Lambda Literary Awards Long List is here!

What good are awards? Do they really mean anything? Are the winners truly better than other books, or is it just a popularity contest? We’ve known readers who only read award winners, and others who actively avoid them, on the theory that award winning books might be more admirable than enjoyable. But there is definitely one aspect of book awards that is a big help to readers: the full lists of nominees – or long lists.

We regularly pore over the longlisted books for the Booker Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Edgar Awards, the National Book Awards and others, looking for titles that both passed their judges’ muster and capture our own individual interest. One of the best – and longest – long lists each year is the LAMBDA Literary Awards (or Lammys), now entering its 31st year of recognizing excellence in LGBTQIA literature. Lammy winners will be announced on June 3, but you can enjoy their long list, spanning a vast array of categories, right now! It is hard to imagine a better way to get in touch with some of the most interesting LGBTQIA narratives and talented authors writing today. And for your convenience, we’ve posted extensive lists of the finalists for fiction & poetry, non-fiction and graphic novels, and books for youth, right there in our library catalog. Continue reading “The 2019 Lambda Literary Awards Long List is here!”

2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults

The 2019 Lammy Award finalists were announced earlier this month, and there are eight contenders in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category.  Among them are some of our favorite recent titles, including last year’s National Book Award Winner The Poet X and both(!) of Kheryn Callender’s novels.  We were especially pleased at the diversity of both authors and character voices in this year’s finalists!

Here are the titles being considered for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards for children and teens:

The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Navigating the world has become exponentially more difficult now that Xiomara has a woman’s body, but while her physical self has gained attention the rest of her goes unnoticed.  Xiomara has plenty to say, though, and an invite to the school’s poetry slam allows her to kick open a door she never knew existed.  Told in verse, this is a raw and intimate portrait of a young woman finding the courage to use her voice and make herself heard. Continue reading “2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults”

Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors

“There have never been lesbians or gay men in Hollywood. Only homosexuals.” With this final despairing statement, gay film historian and activist Vito Russo ends The Celluloid Closet, his landmark study of representations of LGBTQ people in film.

When Russo first published The Celluloid Closet in 1981, he could not imagine that over a decade later LGBTQ directors would make movies that depicted the complex and varied experiences of LGBTQ people with respect and pride, and that Hollywood would begin to finance and distribute these films. Nor could he foresee that 35 years later, Barry Jenkins, a black gay director, would win the Best Picture Academy Award for Moonlight, a sensitive, nuanced, and beautifully filmed story of a young gay black man’s coming of age.

Sadly, Russo died of AIDS-related complications in 1990 and did not live long enough to see the blossoming queer cinema that began to emerge shortly thereafter. In 2013, GLAAD created the Vito Russo Test in his honor. Mainstream Hollywood filmmakers still have a way to go in terms of positive portrayals of LGBTQIA characters, but queer filmmakers around the world have been producing excellent films that pass the Vito Russo Test and then some for decades. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading “Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors”

Romantic Wednesdays: LGBTQ Pride

Posted by Eric G.

It’s been 45 years since Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) New Yorkers fought back against police harassment at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, helping to usher in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. This weekend is also the 40th Anniversary of the Seattle Pride Parade, which was lucky enough to snag the ever-popular George Takei as its grand marshal! Naturally, I corralled some queer reads to complement this colorful time of year. Be proud of who you are, who you love and what you read! Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: LGBTQ Pride”

Movie Mondays: One for the Guys, One for the Gals

There are precious few movies about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people in which a character doesn’t die, kill somebody, commit a crime or remain closeted and self-loathing. Why is it so difficult for Hollywood to make a grand gay romance—or even a simple one? Be that as it may, in recent years the number and quality of LGBT films have increased, to the point where our lives are now a little more fully represented on screen. Along with this, an interesting phenomenon has emerged: pairs of movies with the same (or similar) story and setting, with one about lesbians and the other about gay men. Some of these films still involve people dying, committing crimes, etc., and very few reflect the daily lives and loves of ordinary gay people. But at least they have primary LGBT characters who often defy stereotypes, and the stories aren’t told through the eyes of straight people. In honor of LGBT Pride this month, here’s a sampling of such movie pairs: Continue reading “Movie Mondays: One for the Guys, One for the Gals”