Our stories, urselves

Our stories, urselves

The Lammies are coming up soon, and the nominees have been announced, but I'm not nearly as interested this year as I have in the past. The Lambda Literary Foundation decided last year that the award could go to straight people, not just LGBT identified people, as long as they were writing about gay people.I almost don't even know what to say about this. There are plenty of awards that recognized straight generated depictions and support of queer people. Do we want the Lammies to become another GLAAD award Hollywood grovelfest?

Aren’t our books, and our relationship to our books unique and special, dammit? Lifesaving? Let me tell you, if I hadn’t read Lesbian Nuns Breaking Silence when I left the convent I have no idea where I would be now. Who could have written that book but a couple of dykes? Do we really want to dilute the queerness of our one small organization created exclusively to (as their mission statement says) “nurture, celebrate, and preserve LGBT literature.”

And finally (and for me, most importantly) can’t we privilege LGBT people telling our own stories in just this one little corner of the world? I trust some straight people to tell our stories sometimes, but can we learn a little bit from our history here?

I don’t have much faith in our mainstream LGBT organizations, so I can’t say I am really disappointed. But I do take this as a very serious reminder to do the work, to make the opportunities, to create the kind of community events and even (or perhaps especially) create interpersonal space where we support each other in telling our own stories.