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Lambda Literary Stops Being Literary

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Lambda Literary, the gaygaygay literary organisation, is telling reviewers not to review Milo Yiannopoulos's forthcoming book. I’m technically still on a break, but the news made me decide to emerge briefly to post a few quick thoughts; I’ll have a longer version later.

I was a book reviewer for a gay publication, Windy City Times, for years and also spent a lot of time trying to persuade straight publications to carry more reviews of queer books. In Chicago, there was this online book publication run by two straight women that had gained some currency in the local literary scene — I honestly don't remember their names and when I do, I'll tell you —  and they wouldn’t even respond to my emails.

Today, of course, gay people are the darling BFFs of all such entities, and it's a different world now. So different that a leading gay literary entity can't seem to recall a time when no one -- NO ONE -- would review a single gay book and that queer publications literally were created so that we could name and claim our own.

But you go, Lambda and the rest, fully believing that not carrying reviews of a book will somehow imperil Yiannopoulos's hideous life's work. That it is somehow better to not fully and intellectually interrogate someone's work and, instead, retreat to your tiny, ineffectual little pink corner and pout and whine that no one better review that big meanie’s book.

Lambda, you have no damned right to call yourself "literary" by any measure. That word has to mean something, and if it can't mean the full-fledged interrogation even of the things we loathe, it means nothing at all.


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