I love the idea of the Lambdas. I also love the open bar, the yummy munchies, and the chance to meet so many literary heroes. I like being one of the cool kids--such a weird feeling for a terminal outsider. I love seeing how beautiful my friends look. I love how thrilled we are to win or be nominated--actually there's not much to dislike about everything the Lambda Awards stand for.
However, after attending for the first time, I realized how much it does not stand for, at least for now. It's SO darned old guard white gaylesbian. Where a white gay man can say his generation "invented" transpeople as a joke, and people think it's funny. Where Cherrie Moraga's speech did not energize or validate me, but made me feel the weariness of the load we carry as women of color. I am sorry, sister, but for once, I wanted to be the one sitting down while others got up to applaud. Where it was so clear that we have grown so diverse that no one organization can fully describe (or even perceive) our brilliance.
So I will continue to write and work and promote and write some more. I hope the other festivals and conferences and readings grow, not through established groups like Lambda, but around them, above them, in the spaces between them, to form new organizations and networks, to build stronger voices. I'm proud to have been part of this year's Lambda Awards, but I am even more dedicated to get our brightest voices to that queer kid still afraid of the dark. We have so much work to do.