Monday, January 24, 2005

I don't want to sound too 'Brando' about this -- especially because I don't really know any Native Americans to accept in my place, and also because I'm technically still alive -- but I've been giving some thought to the nomination of my book Trust Fund Boys for a Lambda Literary Award.

I know, I know... I've barely mentioned that nomination on this blog. But, friends and loyal readers, there's a reason for my false modesty.

Bottom line: I just don't think artists should be in competition with one another. We each contribute to creativity in our own unique, dynamic way. We each put out heart on the page... on the canvas... in our music and acting. Who is really in the position to judge which book or painting or song or performance is better than another?

Would I be a better person knowing that my book was a finalist for a best GLBT Romance Award, but worthy noiminees like All the Wrong Places, Almost Like Being in Love, Confessions of a Casanova, Gulf Breeze, and Under the Witness Tree didn't make the cut? No, not at all. I'd still be the same great person I was before I became a finalist. Competition merely brings out the worst qualities -- envy, jealousy, anger, schadenfreude, murderous rage -- in human beings. It does not make us better people.

That is why I'm pulling out of the competition. I refuse to become part of the vicious cycle pitting artist against artist, making us no better than the cheapest politicians as we solicit votes and obviously suck up to the judges and stab each other in the back and work that network of insiders and...

Well, you get the idea.

My art means more than that to me. My art isn't a competition... it's life!

(And... oh, just for the record, I wrote this and definitely believed in these sentiments long before this fucking list was released.)