The 2017 $10,000 voice is A Muscle Grant for an oregon lgbtq writer has been awarded to caitlin bagwell
Catlin is a butch lesbian who lives in Portland and will use this grant money to research for her novel; a novel she is writing, she says, so “I can serve my ancestors. Sometimes, when I am writing, I think the ancestors are visiting me. There is urgency to what I am writing that I have never felt before. They need me to be heard: Now, more than ever, we need to come together. We have done it before and we can do it again if we listen to the past."
Caitlin’s novel is about the ways the LGBTQ community came together despite differences in race, class, age, and gender, during the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s:
"I had no understanding of the titanic effort it took on the part of groups like ACT UP to get the government to act on behalf of marginalized people until I started to research this novel I am writing. When I tell people ten years older than me what I am writing about, they all have a story about a friend or family member who had died, and they are so relieved to tell the story that I am humbled. When I tell people ten years younger than me what I am writing about, they have no idea what I am talking about because they were still in diapers when the triple cocktail came out. This ignorance bothers me. Worse, this ignorance scares me.
I’ve read hundreds of obituaries from the Bay Area Reporter, and one thing all of these deaths have in common is that all these men were survived by their mothers. Whether these men just walked into the High Sierras never to be seen again, like Ron Hendricks did in 1992, or passed into the next plain in the arms of their lover, like Ronald Lamb did in 1993, they all listed their mothers as their survivors. How can a mother survive the death of their child? Worse, who will be there to remember the son when the mother is gone? These obits are relegated to a quiet corner of the internet. You have to go looking for them. There is a place to leave a message, to sign the guestbook, but I have yet to read one that has been signed by a mother. Who will remember these men? And who will remember the mothers who lost their sons?"
We are equally thrilled to recognize our seven finalists
We received a HUGE amount of outstanding applications and consulted a committee of published writers from the LGBTQ community to make these selections:
Ravyn Gerri Stanfield