After decades of being relegated to the "queer" section of the bookstore, usually on a dusty bottom shelf in a dark back corner, more and more LGBTQ writers are having their work recognized and enjoyed by mainstream audiences.
Today, these writers are seeing their words reach the tops of bestsellers lists, be optioned for TV series and movies, and celebrated with the world's most prestigious literary prizes.
We've compiled a short roundup of some of our more prideful writers for pride season--some newcomers, some more established--who are making an impact in the literary world and serving as a voice for generations of queer people.
Michael R. Jackson
Michael R. Jackson is an American playwright, composer, and lyricist who made history this year when his musical A Strange Loop won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The play tells the story of an overweight, gay, Black artist as he tries to survive in a heteronormative white world. Jackson’s win marked the first time a musical written by a Black writer received a Pulitzer.
But the winning didn’t stop there.
A Strange Loop also won the Lambda Literary Award for Drama, two Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, and two Outer Critics Circle Award Honors. Oh, and it’s original cast recording peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Cast Albums chart.
Perhaps no one was more surprised by the Pulitzer win than Jackson himself, who tweeted shortly after learning the news:
Never in my wildest dreams. NEVER. IN MY. WILDEST. DREAMS. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey to such an incredible honor. I’m sure I’ll have more to say once I’ve caught my breath and looked at all these text messages and emails but for now, THANK YOU. https://t.co/P73Aonzy5t
— Michael R. Jackson (@TheLivingMJ) May 4, 2020