Lambda Literary Awards Reject LGBTQ Author After She Defended a Friend Accused of Transphobia

Lauren Hough is the author It’s not the hardest thing to do, A memoir, and a collection of essays on her life. Hough is gay and was raised in a Christian doomsday church. She later joined the military when “don’t Ask, don’t Tell” was still in force.

Hough was recently informed by the Lambda Literary Foundation that her book had been selected for a Finalist in the “Lammy” Award. Her joy was contagious.

Substack wrote, “The Lambda Prize was created when someone like me manages to publish books with queer themes. Mainstream prize committees are not often interested in those books.” “Prizes get media attention. Name recognition is key to attracting new readers. Books are sold when prizes are awarded. The check comes with prize money like the Lambda.

But it wasn’t to be. Hough received an email from Lambda stating that the company had decided to withdraw Hough’s nomination because of “twitter disputes.”

A representative from Lambda wrote an email to Hough, “So sorry to transmit this information.”

According to Hough the Twitter disputes refer to Sandra Newman’s defense, who is a young adult fiction author whose book was published in 2016. The MenThe dystopia in which everyone who has a Y-chromosome disappears from the Earth is described by. Newman made the bold statement that her book was about “women who refuse to let go of their men and are determined to get them back.”

Some transgender Twitter activists were not happy with this premise. “Everyone with a Yellow Chromome” refers to a group that does not only include men, but transgender women. The people who are left would not be just women but transgender men. Newman’s plan was described by one activist as “transphobia” and “transsexuality.”

The world of YA fiction includes a small contingent of extremely woke, social justice–conscious early reviewers with tremendous power to sic the mob on books and authors who offend them for very slight reasons. It’s a disturbing phenomenon—documented by Jesse Singal in the pages of Reason, and by Kat Rosenfield elsewhere—and as pure an example of cancel culture as one can find.

Hough was a Newman defender, so she’s not up for a Lammy.

Sandra was a friend and mentor to me. They were advised to read it before judging it. They were told that plot and characters don’t always reflect the views and politics of the author. Or, they could just not read it.

It was a book I had already read. Sandra Newman delivered it in an earlier form to me and I sent her some notes. It’s like our relationship. Sandra is not transgender, and I amn’t transgender either. However, we talked about how the book could be made to recognize transgender people. Other books that started from this premise—all the men disappear—have erased the existence of trans people, and it was important to her not to do that, to be as sensitive as possible. As soon as I realized that people were assuming this simplistic idea to be the whole plot, I instructed them not to. This is why I was called a Terf.

I don’t consider myself a TERF. It’s impossible for anyone to believe I’m a Terf. You can easily find out if I am a TERF. It’s easy to find out if I am a TERF by asking me or spending two minutes looking at my twitter timeline. Sandra Newman doesn’t have to be a TERF, but it can easily be found using the same methods.

A TERF, or “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” is generally defined as a feminist who denies that transwomen—who began their lives as biological males—are women. Hough and Newman do not claim to hold this view. It is also unlikely that their books support it. But a small number of people who purport to speak for the transgender community end up implicitly making the claim that even acknowledging differences—like the presence of a Y chromosome—between women and transwomen is a form of bigotry.

Lambda Literary exists to celebrate queer authors for telling stories about queer people—for helping to destigmatize the LGBTQ community. Ironically, Lambda Literary is engaging in social shame of a queer writer who provoked anger from far-left activists and not social conservatives. This isn’t the first time Lambda Literary has fallen to this kind of pressure. Lambda Literary did not reply to our request for comment.

Hough stated that she was a queer female and had been silenced throughout her life. I found my voice. But, if it’s being pulled for its use, then what is Lambda Literary?