After years of organizational transition, the 35th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, or Lammys, held on June 9, served as a homecoming of sorts for Lambda Literary. The event brought many of the organization's authors, writers, editors, and supporters back together again after the live awards ceremony was put on pause in 2020.

Held at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, the room was filled with LGBTQ+ media professionals who had previously won Lammy awards or had been honored by the organization in some capacity. Mostly, the mood shared among attendees was joy at being back in-person and connecting with the community.

Taking to the stage to deliver an uplifting speech, executive director Samiya Bashir captured the moment best when she explained why she had been so intent on returning Lambda's programming to in-person events: "We just need ourselves and each other."

"This legacy organization has been critical to me as a writer for the past 30 years. I don't take your trust in my leadership lightly," said Bashir, who has been in the executive director role for a year. "As you know it's my first year as [executive director] of Lambda Literary—and what a year it has been."

Bashir went on to call out the recent LGBTQ+ book bans, drag bans, and other anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has been proposed by lawmakers. She explained that LGBTQ+ storytellers are crucial in the fight against these efforts.

"Lifting up queer, trans storytellers, artists, and advocates is critical to fighting these attacks to our communities," she said. "The good news, though, Lambda is building on its 35 years of queer literary history to take on that fight. The world has changed, and the way we do our work is changing to meet our community's needs."

Expressing a desire to open up Lambda's literary advocacy to include TV writers, screenwriters, songwriters, and journalists, Bashir emphatically stated: "Lambda's doors are not closing. We are opening wider than ever before."

Lambda Literary Awards winners are selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals from more than 1,300 book submissions from over 300 publishers.

In addition to the winners announced that night, five special honors were awarded to Eboni J. Dunbar (Kenan Prize), Jaquira Diaz (Cordova Prize), Maya Salameh & Naseem Jamnia (Markowitz Prize), Christopher Tradowski (Samuel Prize), and Aaron Hamburger and Ryka Aoki (Duggins Prize).

Visit Lambda to view the complete list of winners.