The Publishing Triangle began giving awards for nonfiction in 1997. Each of its two nonfictions awards is for books published in the preceding year in the United States or Canada (i.e., the 2019 award below honored books published in 2018). The Randy Shilts Award honors the journalist whose groundbreaking work on the AIDS epidemic for the San Francisco Chronicle made him a hero to many in the community. Shilts (1951–1994) was the author of The Mayor of Castro Street, And the Band Played On, and Conduct Unbecoming. This award recognizes works that are by or about gay men, bisexual men, and/or transmen, or that have a significant influence upon the lives of queer men.

The finalists and the winners are determined by a panel of judges appointed by the Publishing Triangle’s awards committee. The winner receives a prize of $1000.

In the listings below, finalists are presented in alphabetical order by book title. Bold type and a triangle indicate winners. There have been two years with ties, 2016 and 2002.


Against the Wall: My Journey from Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist, by Jenn Budd (Heliotrope)

Boy with the Bullhorn: A Memoir and History of Act Up, by Ron Goldberg (Fordham University Press)

Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal and Sovereignty in Native America, by Gregory D. Smithers (Beacon Press)

A Union Like Ours: The Love Story of F.O Matthiesen and Russell Cheney, by Scott Bane (University of Massachusetts)


Antiman: A Memoir, by Rajiv Mohabir (Restless Books)

Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin (Little, Brown)

Punch Me Up to the Gods, by Brian Broome (Mariner)

Racial Erotics: Gay Men of Color, Sexual Racism, and the Politics of Desire, by C. Winter Han (University of Washington Press)


The Deviant’s War, by Eric Cervini (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Figure It Out, by Wayne Koestenbaum (Soft Skull Press)

The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard, by John Birdsall (W. W. Norton)

Plague Years: A Doctor’s Journey Through the AIDS Crisis, by Ross A. Slotten (University of Chicago Press)


Buying Gay, by David K. Johnson (Columbia University Press)

How We Fight for Our Lives, by Saeed Jones (Simon & Schuster)

The Stonewall Reader, edited by the New York Public Library (Penguin Books)

When Brooklyn Was Queer, by Hugh Ryan (St. Martin’s)


Harvey Milk, by Lillian Faderman (Yale University Press)

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Yale University Press)

Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and Rise of Gay Liberation, by Robert W. Fieseler (Liveright/W. W. Norton)


Brilliant Imperfection, by Eli Clare (Duke University Press)

The Inheritance of Shame, by Peter Gajdics (Brown Paper Press)

Lives of Great Men, by Chike Frankie Edozien (Team Angelica Publishing)

Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic, by Richard A. McKay (University of Chicago Press)


Books for Living, by Will Schwalbe (Alfred A. Knopf)

How to Survive a Plague, by David France (Alfred A. Knopf)

The Narrow Door, by Paul Lisicky (Graywolf Press)

Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis, by Kevin Mumford (University of North Carolina Press)


Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage, by Barney Frank (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) (tie)

A House in St. John’s Wood: In Search of My Parents, by Matthew Spender (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality, by Michelangelo Signorile (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) (tie)

Visions and Revisions: Coming of Age in the Age of AIDS, by Dale Peck (Soho Press)


Gay Berlin, by Robert Beachy (Alfred A. Knopf)

Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS, by Martin Duberman (The New Press)

The Prince of los Cocuyos, by Richard Blanco (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe, by Philip Gefter (Liveright/W. W. Norton)


Henry Darger: Throwaway Boy, by Jim Elledge (Overlook)

Oye Loca: From the Mariel Boat Lift to Gay Cuban Miami, by Susana Peña (University of Minnesota Press)

Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous Gender Creative Son, by Lori Duron (Broadway Books)

White Girls, by Hilton Als (McSweeney’s)


Eminent Outlaws, by Christopher Bram (Twelve/Hachette)

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz, by Cynthia Carr (Bloomsbury)

How to Be Gay, by David M. Halperin (Belknap/Harvard University Press)

Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus, by Lisa Jarnot (University of California Press)


A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski (Beacon Press)

Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk About Homosexuality, by Mark D. Jordan (University of Chicago Press)

A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds, by Martin Duberman (The New Press)


Grant Wood, by R. Tripp Evans (Alfred A. Knopf)

A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster, by Wendy Moffat (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, by Justin Spring (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


The Greeks and Greek Love, by James Davidson (Random House)

The Pure Lover, by David Plante (Beacon Press)

Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, by Chad Heap (University of Chicago Press)


Assisted Loving, by Bob Morris (Harper/HarperCollins)

Drifting Toward Love, by Kai Wright (Beacon Press)

Gay America, by Linas Alsenas (Amulet Books/Abrams)


Gay Artists in Modern American Culture, by Michael S. Sherry (University of North Carolina Press)

Other Men’s Sons, by Michael Rowe (Cormorant Books)

The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, by Martin Duberman (Alfred A. Knopf)


The Bill from My Father, by Bernard Cooper (Simon & Schuster)

Butterfly Boy, by Rigoberto González (University of Wisconsin Press)

Covering, by Kenji Yoshino (Random House)


The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, by Neil McKenna (Basic Books)

The Tricky Part, by Martin Moran (Beacon Press)

Words to Our Now, by Thomas Glave (University of Minnesota Press)


The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, by David K. Johnson (University of Chicago Press)

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter (St. Martin’s Press)

Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century, by Graham Robb (W. W. Norton)


Dry, by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin’s Press)

Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, by John D’Emilio (Free Press)

What We Lost, by Dale Peck (Houghton Mifflin)


Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance, by Richard Bruce Nugent, edited by Thomas H. Wirth (Duke University Press)

Love in a Dark Time: And Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature, by Colm Tóibín (Scribner)

Sex Crime Panic, by Neil Miller (Alyson Books)


Black Gay Man, by Robert Reid-Pharr (New York University Press) (tie)

The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s, by Ricardo J. Brown (University of Minnesota Press) (tie)

The Scarlet Professor, by Barry Werth (Doubleday)


The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search for His Lost Father, by Mark Matousek (Riverhead Books)

Lies: A Diary 1986–1999, by Ned Rorem (Counterpoint)

Losing Matt Shepard, by Beth Loffreda (Columbia University Press)


Dangerous Liaisons: Blacks, Gays, and the Struggle for Equality, edited by Eric Brandt (The New Press)

Pictures and Passions, by James M. Saslow (Viking Press)

Victory Deferred, by John Manual Andriote (University of Chicago Press)


Closer Devotions, by Richard Rambuss

The Other Side of Silence, by John Loughery

The Pleasure Principle, by Michael Bronski


Naked, by David Sedaris

The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture, by Daniel Harris

Sexual Ecology, by Gabriel Rotello


Heaven’s Coast, by Mark Doty

One More River to Cross, by Keith Boykin

Thomas Mann, by Anthony Heilbut