“The empire still stands,” said master of ceremonies Kate Clinton at last night’s Lambda Literary Awards, honoring gay and lesbian literature. “We’re all Cuomo-sexuals now.”
Ms. Clinton was referring to last summer’s legalization of same-sex marriage, among the many other positive changes for gay citizens over the past year. She wasn’t afraid to delve into other political news, saying to hearty applause: “The poster child for retro-abortion is Rush Limbaugh.”
The man of the evening was Armistead Maupin, the venerable author of Tales of the City. “He may be the only man alive who makes me wish I were ten years older and living in San Francisco at that time,” said presenter Ted Allen, of the Food Network. “I’ve done Quaaludes. They’re quite fun.”
Olympia Dukakis, who introduced Mr. Maupin, said his character Anna Madrigal was the most important she’d ever played. “It was in doing that part that I realized it’s not unimportant to survive myself.” Mr. Maupin teased his leading lady, noting that she whispered into his ear “‘our hair is white,’ as if she’d just discovered it!”
Mr. Maupin told a story of waiting at a juice bar on Castro Street and noting that his name was painted on a mural “between Oscar Wilde and Martina Navratilova,” concluding that “as queers, we are all so connected to each other through writing.” He became aware of gay literature, he admitted, through “Liza fucking Minnelli”–reading Christopher Isherwood after seeing Cabaret.
There was room for at least one major diva, as well. In presenting an award, Judith Regan bragged that she’d published Wally Lamb‘s book She’s Come Undone originally, while her co-presenter Mr. Lamb quipped: “She’s in a snit because the awards are called the Lammys, not the Judys.”
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