queer

Category: queer

What struck me at this year's Lambda Awards was the diversity of the award headings, spanning twenty-six categories from lesbian non-fiction through bisexual poetry, LGBTQ anthology, trans literature to gay mystery, and just about everything in between.

Today, as we know, the Lambda Awards gloriously celebrate the best of LGBTQ writing and "affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world."

It wasn't always like that.

Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1985, I slept overnight on a park bench in Florence, Italy. It remains one of the most memorable nights of my life.

I was not there by choice, but by chance. I'd arrived by train on my way from Milan to a place called Isole d'Elba, where I would be meeting two friends. I had come to Italy earlier in the summer at the behest of a modelling agency director who, as soon as I arrived, insinuated himself as a sort of parent figure. He was manipulative, however, and I eventually did what many young people would have done: I ran away.