The Lambda Literary Foundation
, for those of you who do not know, is an American LGBT Literary that works to raise the status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender authors, who are marginalised, in the literary world.
Awesome says I.
An organisation that works to elevate the visibility and merit of LGBT(Q!) authors is good.
The Lambda Awards (hereby known as the Lammy's) though, are about the stories. Or at least, that's what I (and probably many others) thought.
However, the new guidlines
contain within them a new rule, which is a source of contention:
The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) seeks to elevate the status of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives.
As such, it should be noted that the Lambda Literary Awards are based principally on the LGBT content, the gender orientation/identity of the author, and the literary merit of the work.
Let's get one thing straight (laugh it up); queers having our own space, our own awards and our own rules as to who applies, is not a bad thing.
Really, it's not.
The problem is, who decides.
The Lammy's guideline specifically states:
As to what defines LGBT? That is not up to anyone at Lambda Literary Foundation to decide. The writers and publishers are the ones who will be doing the self-identifying. Sexuality today is fluid and we welcome and cherish this freedom. We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required. There are many permutations of LGBT and they're all welcome as that LGBT term we've all adopted makes clear.
Okay, so they accept anyone who ID's as part of the LGBT(Q damnit!) family
. And if that bisexual cis woman who is married to her straight cis male husband of such-and-such years submits an award. Sure, of course she's eligible.
But wait, no she doesn't, she doesn't live the "lifestyle".
Not so much, when that kind of thing happens all the time, you're not queer enough if you have het privilege.
Is it stupid? Of course it is, but whoever said marginalised groups were good with the whole acceptance thing.
Honestly, I don't think it would go that way, I'm also obviously being satirical here. I mean, it could, but I'm trying for optimism here. LGBT(Q)
authors having their place and awarding those of us who wrote a story in which our portrayal brings us and the characters in the story alive is a very good thing.
Telling people that who they are may not be enough in order to be eligible for the award is not the way to go.
The main problem that came out of this whole thing is that the change in the guidelines came with such short notice.
The notice of the change came out September 25th, submission begins October 1st and ends December 1st.
Yeah, no matter how you look, that is
short notice, especially when it's effective immediately.
I say my opinion is fuzzy, the "litmus" should be for people to be able to say:"I'm queer", accept that statement at face value and move on in order to read a good book or story about people who are like me (potentially). But queer isn't a visible thing, our statements of who we are, are under constant attack because we are marginalised, because we are not "normal", because if we really
wanted to and tried hard enough, we wouldn't have
to be marginalised, now would we.
I'm getting frustrated from all this thinking about which box we're supposed to fit into. Sexuality is fluid (not for everyone!), but it better remain in that little bowl.
Regardless of how us queers feel about the change in the guidelines, which is not clear cut at all, here is one thing I have to say about those straight authors, who are yelling at the Interwebs, about being marginalised because the Lammy's changed the rules on their gay romance.
No, really. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.
I've had it up to fucking here with stupid straight people appropriating my
space, in order to promote an agenda that has nothing to do with actually being queer, and has everything to do with "but I want to play in this sandbox too".
Yes, well, at the moment you are peeing in it, because the attitude of entitlement is not the one members of the LGBTQ family who happen to be cis and straight should be throwing around.
You feel strongly about your portrayal of gay characters, that's good, I feel strongly about it to.
Saying that because you feel excluded from a prize, you are oppressed
is irksome, irritating and shows that you are so privilege blind that you really have no fucking clue what homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, etc actually causes the psyche of a person who does
deal with these prejudices and hates on a bloody daily basis.
God, am I the only one who had a flashback to the trek stupidity
a couple months back.
Seriously, peeps, what the fuck?!
On that, I'm not so fuzzy headed.A thanks to rm, kynn and vashtan; their posts really enabled me write this post in a (hopefully) semi-coherent way.
Their own opinions and fact finding skills were extremely helpful.