Here Come the Brides is a Lambda Literary Award Finalist!



Finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in Los Angeles. Books from major mainstream publishers, from academic presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies, make up the 687 submissions for the “Lammys.” The finalists were selected from a record number of submissions, and, for the first time, the judges were encouraged to choose more finalists in those categories that drew a large number of submissions.

Now in their twenty-fifth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2012. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Monday evening, June 3, 2013, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union,7 East 7th Street, New York City 10003. Details on the annual after-party location are forthcoming. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit:



We’ve been really thrilled by the critical response to Here Come the Brides! Here are excerpts from some of our favorite reviews:

“Though there are countless books on LGBT marriage and on lesbian relationships, this is the first anthology that approaches same-sex marriage between women not as a political destination but as a complex cultural phenomenon….There is real courage in these pages—honest, heartfelt accounts of friends who reject the institution of marriage and families that reject thebrides, trans-women’s visions of their own walk down the aisle, the bittersweet regrets of lesbian divorcees, and the unabashed joy felt by many women whentheir right to marry is validated. No lesbian anthology is complete without the voice of lesbian rights pioneer Phyllis Lyon, who married her longtime partner Del Martin in the first gay marriage performed in California. She is interviewed here by National Center for Lesbian Rights executive director Kate Kendell. VERDICT Required reading for all students of civil rights and marriage equality.”  –Elizabeth Kennedy, Library Journal [Also listed on Library Journal‘s “Ten Resources on Same-Sex Marriage”]


“If you think wedding bells may ring in your future, toss the wedding planner aside and pick up a copy of Here Come the Brides! instead. This substantial collection of first-person narratives touches on every topic a potential bride would want to know about, from the radically political to the highly practical….
Some authors deal with the legalities that make couples consider marriage, such as co-owning property or having children together. Others write about the details of the ceremony they had or wish to have, or the significance of selecting their rings, or explaining their union to their families of origin….And there are also some who write touchingly about how they have been swayed to marry by what they have witnessed over their lifetimes, both in the LGBT community and in the ever-changing national political scene….In ‘More Today Than Yesterday,’ Bette Skandalis writes, ‘I am proud that our marriage has contributed to the political conversation—the revolutionary idea that joining with someone is not a right accorded to a privileged heterosexual few, but for anyone lucky enough to find somebody to share a life with.'”   –Rachel Pepper, Curve


“This engaging collection of first-person accounts makes an absorbing read.”  –E.B. Boatner, Lavender Magazine


“This collection is dud free. … [It] accomplishes many things at once; making the reader reach for a tissue or their loved one(s), inciting protest at the appalling treatment gay American citizens go through on a daily basis and thoughtfully criticizing and de-constructing marriage as a whole. A wonderful read that is highly recommended for any bookshelf.”   –Jillian L. Schweitzer, Atlas


“Whether you are a history buff, a fan of the gays, a marriage cynic (straight or queer), a newly engaged lesbian, or someone who just enjoys the drama of a good human story, you should pick up this book. Wedding cakes, registries, vows, dresses, rings, and flowergirls all get discussed, as do divorce, broken engagements, relationship drama, and gender panic over gender roles….This book reminds us that there is nothing better than reading a page-turner of a history whose pages are still being written. Whether or not you care to marry, dive into this book and feel history, rather than wedding rice, crackle in your hands.”   –K. Bradford, Trop

Photos (top to bottom) from Flickr users  downing.amanda, subvert.combloody marty mix and  Mike Licht, under license from Creative Commons 2.0

Here Come the Brides! in Ms. Magazine

 Susan Goldberg’s heartwrenching/heartwarming essay, “Four (Same-Sex) Weddings and a Funeral,” appears in the forthcoming issue of Ms. magazine, which will hit newsstands on February 28.

(Shameless plug from Brides coeditor Michele Kort, who is also senior editor of Ms.: If you’re not already a subscriber to the magazine–which marks its 40th anniversary this year–please join us and help fight the good feminist fight for another 40 years!)

And of course the reason we’re telling you this is because the essay also appears in Here Comes the Brides!, which will soon be appearing on bookstore shelves and is already available for pre-order from Amazon.

We don’t want to give away Goldberg’s whole, beautifully told story, but let’s just say that the original wedding she and her now-wife Rachel planned was put asunder by her mother’s dying wishes. Nonetheless, the combination of tragedy and joy brought together her family in unexpected ways. Ah, the power of same-sex marriage …

California’s Proposition 8 Ruled Unconstitutional!

Here Come the Brides! is not just a new Seal Press release, but could be the slogan of thousands of California lesbians today, as a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Prop 8, approved by California voters in 2008, declared same-sex marriage illegal, nullifying the state’s Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage and led to 18,000 female-female, male-male marriages in the state. The federal court’s ruling upheld that of Judge Vaughn Walker in 2010, who declared that Prop 8 violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against gay people who want to partake of marriage.

Before California brides start shopping for dresses and tuxes and registering for gifts, however, more legal challenges lie in wait. Prop 8 supporters can now either ask for a ruling from a larger panel of the 9th Circuit Court, or can take their case right to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hold tight: There’s a bumpy road to justice ahead for potential gay brides and grooms, but a victory in the top court of the land would have national implications.

Until then, curl up with a copy of Here Come the Brides! and read essays, poems, one-act plays (and see a few cartoons) by lesbians who have already tied the knot, are still waiting for legalization, and who otherwise have an opinion on the institution and realities of marriage.

Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, edited by Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort, is available for preorder now, and will be in bookstores in March, 2012.