Bonham Centre Honours the Power of Word at Annual Awards Gala

More than 200 supporters of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies gathered at Hart House's Great Hall last night for the annual Bonham Centre Awards Gala.

This year, the awards celebrated The Power of Word. Honoured for their contributions to advancing the cause of sexual diversity through writing were authors Waawaate Fobister, Patricia Nell-Warren, Shyam Selvadurai, and Edmund White.

IBM Youth Award recipient Waawaate Fobister is an award-winning actor and playwright. In 2009, his production of Agokwe: Gay Love on the Rez — a one-man play which he wrote and starred in — won six Dora Awards. He is also a choreographer, dancer, and producer.

Patricia Nell-Warren is an author and activist whose bestselling gay novels include The Front Runner, Harlan’s Race, and Billy’s Boy.

Shyam Selvadurai's award-winning novels provide a unique gay voice in South Asian fiction and have been published in the US, the UK and India, and published in translation in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, and Israel. His latest novel, The Hungry Ghosts, was published in April 2013 in Canada, India, and Sri Lanka.

Edmund White is the  author of several books on same-sex love, including The Joy of Gay Sex and memoirs Inside a Pearl, My Lives, and City Boy.  His many novels include the autobiographical A Boy’s Own Story and most recently, Jack Holmes & His Friend. White has been influential as a literary and cultural critic, particularly on same-sex love and sexuality.

The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of RBC, the presenting sponsor.