A man with the right scruffed-up beard and breadth of chest swaggered into the S and M dungeon that was my place of business, and twenty minutes and one grand later had my chin — still soft with the downy fluff of teen-girl skin — held steady in one paw while the other one flew at my face so hard and fast that I ceased to exist as the same collection of matter I had been the previous instant.
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
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For thirty years the Lambda Literary Awards have celebrated the best in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature. This year, debut books by two Sun contributors — Jaquira Díaz and T Kira Madden — were selected as finalists in the category for Best Lesbian Memoir/Biography.
In her memoir, Ordinary Girls, Díaz writes about her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age. Excerpts from her Sun essays “Baby Lollipops” and “My Mother and Mercy” were used in her book. Purchase it from bookshop.org.
T Kira Madden’s memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, is about Madden’s coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager. Her essay “The Greeter,” an excerpt from her memoir, appeared in our March 2019 issue. Purchase her book from bookshop.org.
If you missed our contributors’ work in the magazine or want to read it again, just click the links above.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. For the full list, visit lambdaliterary.org.