I’m late posting my eyewitness account of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards. Chalk it up to the holiday weekend, which I spent with my Nofriendo Wii or watching the worst movie on Netflix ever, or my day in NYC (forthcoming), or the fact that Beau spontaneously decided Monday night was the night we should rotate our artwork and reorganize some parts of our apartment (which looks fab, by the way).
I got to the Lammys late because my publisher, Steve Berman, took the Lethe Press nominees (Dan Stone, Tom Cardamone, and me, and Beau) out to dinner at a very nice restaurant. We had a nice bottle of wine and Steve urged to me to try foie gras for the first time, which I did. Beau whispered to me, “What does it taste like?” I told him it was like that weird wine-cheese dip you can get–oddly salty and rich at the same time. He agreed with my assessment. It wasn’t bad, but probably not something I’ll ever crave, like Skittles, cigarettes, or a Craftsman-style home.
After dinner, we jetted over to the theatre just in time. I bumped, almost literally, into David Groff and said hi and then skittered into a seat last row center, next to the video camera. I felt like a seat filler at the Oscars, but my outfit was cuter.
The ceremony itself was long, but I valued it. The address by Larry Kramer is something I am so grateful to have experienced. He’s one of my heroes. I think he’s amazing, and to see him recognized with a Lambda honor and to hear him talk about his career and his forthcoming book was–without sounding corny–really special to me.
I won’t lie and say I was supercool when my category came up halfway through the event. But I will say that I wasn’t disappointed my book wasn’t chosen. Part of me thought I could win; the rest was sure I would lose to one of the other very talented writers in the pool, and was happy to lose to any of them. I hadn’t prepared anything to say, if that tells you anything. And neither had Benjamin Grossberg, whose book was honored, but he gave one of the cutest and most genuine comments of the whole night when he took the podium. Congratulations, Benjamin!
The other highlights for me were Rakesh Satyal’s long but inspired acceptance speech, sung to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” (only at a gay event would this not only be tolerated but valued), and the woman who described how fate tried to ruin her day: “I woke up with a pimple under my nose. Then my first flight to New York was canceled. Then, on the flight I did take, the flight attendant spilled Diet Coke all over me. So you know what? Suck it, fate!” Awesome.
Beau and I each picked up a gift bag as we left, just like we were at the Oscars, except instead of gadgets and gizmos, our bags were full of books and grassroots calls to activism. My bag had the RuPaul beauty book in it, which I was really excited about because I also love some RuPaul (“Good luck, and don’t fuck it up” might be the best advice ever). Beau got four books, which made this whole experience oddly reminiscent of Christmas with my family, where gifts for Beau outnumber my own by 2:1.
We ended the night in our closet of a hotel room, eating delivery pizza while watching Zack and Miri Make a Porno on cable. It was perfect.