When Tristan Taormino's anthology Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica hit the shelves, I mentioned here on the blog that my story "The Therapist and The Whore" was included in the collection.
Today I share the wonderful news that Take Me There has WON a Lambda Literary Award in the category of Transgender Fiction.
Tristan Taormino (@tristantaormino) tweeted a little thank you speech that I will post right here:
Thank you so much Lambda Literary for this amazing award. I dedicate it to Cleis Press for publishing visionary books, the contributors for writing brave, sexy pieces, and all the trans, genderqueer, and gender variant folks who may pick up the book and see themselves in it as sex symbols.
I was particularly moved by Tristan's words because they reminded me why I started writing trans fiction in the first place. If you read my blog religiously, you know my girlfriend is a trans woman. When we first fell in love and began our relationship... well, things were complicated. She acknowledged that she was blocked sexually. She was afraid I might fetishize her trans body, or view her as a "guy in a dress," or view her in any other way that didn't speak the truth of who she is within herself. In fact, when we began this relationship four years ago, she pretty much guaranteed we would never have sex.
Yikes! And me an erotica writer!
Actually, erotica figured in to this conversation (and conversion and transformation) around sex and representation and being trans. My Sweet really hates erotica that portrays trans women as brainless cardboard cut-outs who are good for nothing but sex--and, as far as she was concerned, all trans erotica was like that. It was for her that I began crafting stories involving trans characters who weren't other, weren't alien, who were both sexual and valuable, socially and personally... who were human.
When Sweet started reading my trans fiction, I was actually surprised that she loved my work and could relate to my characters. (I don't know why that surprised me. I guess I was just nervous.) The comment she made that stuck with me was, "You don't write about sex, you write about people." For her, that made all the difference.
If you haven't read Take Me There... well, now is as good a time as any! I know the public library system here in Toronto has copies available. If you don't happen to be inside a library in Toronto at the moment (and considering it's midnight as I write this, chances are you're not), the anthology is available from Cleis Press and Amazon.
Amazon in print or as an ebook.
Congratulations to Tristan Taormino, to Cleis Press, and to all other winners and nominees in this year's Lambda Literary Awards. What you do changes lives in ways you probably can't even imagine!
Her blog: http://donutsdesires.blogspot.com
Her website: http://www.wix.com/gisellerenarde/erotica