Last Drink Bird Head Awards — I Am A Gentle Advocate
I haven’t posted to this blog in a long while, sorry. My job is pretty intense (but awesome) and I have a million other projects and jobs going on, which means my fun time is limited. Or I’m just tired. But some fairly significant things are going on and I’ve been extremely remiss in mentioning them.
A big one is that a few weeks ago Jeff Vandermeer emailed to tell me that I was one of the first nominees for the Last Drink Bird Head Award. This is a new award he and Ann Vandermeer came up with that focuses on service in the genre community. “The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those in the genre community who enrich us with their time, energy, and words, often for causes greater than themselves.” The categories are:
- Gentle Advocacy
- Tireless Energy
- Promotion of Reading
- Expanding Our Vocabulary
- International Activism
- Special Achievement
I was nominated in the Gentle Advocacy category: In recognition of individuals willing to enter into blunt discourse about controversial issues…. The awards were given out at World Fantasy and, despite being up against John Scalzi and Nick Mamatas, I won! Yay!
I actually hadn’t expected to, so I didn’t prepare an acceptance speech, though I did give one. But if I had prepared one, I would have said a lot more stuff. First that my fellow nominees are completely worthy of this award as well. Nick in particular since he’s one of the people who taught me the benefits of being fearless and saying what needs to be said when shit is really wrong in the world.
Second, that the award and the awardees acknowledge that it’s not always easy being a Gentle Advocate, an activist, or someone who repeatedly engages in discussions and debates of heated topics. It does help when people have your back, even if they’re just the lurkers in email. I’m fortunate in that I have many people at my back who aren’t shy about being vocal about it, including the Vandermeers and Scalzi and Mamatas. Having people around you who you’re confident will tell you when you’re wrong and aren’t afraid to back you up when you’re right is the key to sanity. I have tons of people like that, and I appreciate the hell out of all of them.
Last, I’m really proud to be the first recipient of this award and glad that it exists, because there are so many others deserving of it, and I’ll be really happy to see them nominated in the future. And thanks again to Ann and Jeff for the honor and for creating the Last Drink Bird Head Awards.