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A Request from Acclaimed Novelist Chinelo Okparanta

A Request from Acclaimed Novelist Chinelo Okparanta

Author: Edit Team

December 10, 2018

My first encounter with Lambda Literary was in 2014 after my first book, Happiness, Like Water, won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.

In accepting my first major book award, I was welcomed into a new space of being. I found in Lambda a welcoming abode, one where I felt simultaneously supported and challenged about self-acceptance.

Prior to this, I had written in support of LGBTQ+ communities, but I had been hesitant to speak from a personal angle. With Lambda by my side, though, I knew I had the advocate and champion I needed to allow myself to be more personal in my writing and public life.

In Lambda Literary, I have found family and a home, just as thousands of other LGBTQ writers have. Which is why I am asking you to support Lambda Literary today.

Whether you can give $50 or $500, every dollar you give will amplify the voices and ideas of our LGBTQ community—an act that is more necessary than ever.

My relationship with Lambda Literary has deepened since winning a Lammy.

I have been on faculty at the organization’s Writers Retreat for Emerging Voices, which brings extraordinary, up-and-coming LGBTQ authors together for a weeklong writing residency. In their writing I see the future of literature.

I’ve also joined Lambda’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program, which invites authors into K-12 classrooms to talk about LGBTQ books and our lives. It provides a critically positive and safe space for queer youth. Having once been that youth in need of an LGBTQ+ mentor, I cherish the opportunity to offer students what I did not have.

No other arts nonprofit organization in the world does more to support LGBTQ writers and readers. Help Lambda Literary continue their vital work.

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