Lammies: The 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

The LGBT literati hobnobbed with the NYC
glitterati for the 24th Annual Lambda Literary
Awards on June 4th. CLAGS co-sponsored
the Lammies in the Graduate Center’s
Proshansky Auditorium, and the sold-out
event, hosted by Kate Clinton, was a fabulous
affair. The only thing missing were the
klieg lights dancing on the façade of the
Graduate Center, but all other elements of
glitzy award show rituals were in place.
After walking a red carpet leading to the
VIP photo op stop, guests were treated
to a sumptuous reception with solicitous
cater waiters weaving their way through
the crowd. (Hint: park it in the back of the
room for first dibs on each new platter of
delectables as it glides out of the kitchen).
Standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes
of Charles Busch, Olympia Dukakis, Frank
Bruni, Anthony Rapp, and Ally Sheedy, I was
the only one there I never heard of!
The award ceremony was appropriately celebratory
and at times quite moving. Winner
after winner paid tribute to the foundational
work of Armistead Maupin, who received a
2012 Pioneer Award. Maupin, who is the author
of nine novels, including the addictive
Tales of the City series, movingly accepted
his award stating, “The great pleasure of
writing is that people come up to you and
tell you you’ve touched them in some way.”
Feminist, writer, filmmaker, and sculptor
Kate Millett also received a 2012 Pioneer
Award. Millett, the author of Sexual Politics,
was clearly moved by the extraordinary ovation
that greeted her, and in her acceptance
speech, she explained that literary and political
accolades aside, these days she considers
herself a “farmer,” first and foremost.
On hand to offer the audience a special
treat was Lypsinka (a.k.a. John Epperson),
who was exceedingly glamorous and fierce
in a fiery red frock with crimson hair to
match. Lypsinka performed her signature
schizophrenic telephone medley, brilliantly
mashing moments from Mommie Dearest,
Butterfield 8, and Caged. Not to be outdone
by the proceedings onstage, Lypsinka concluded
her performance accepting her own
Academy Award.
What awards show would be complete without
swag? Guests received a bag full of
books on their way out of the ceremony and
were plied with hours of summer reading
selections.
The after-party, featuring drag superstar
Lady Bunny, went into the wee hours at
Midtown Manhattan’s popular hotspot Slate.
This award-show enthusiast went home to
read.