Deacon Larry Page Maccubbin

By Kaeleigh Farthing

331 E Little Creek Road, Norfolk, Virginia.

Deacon Maccubbin

Larry Page Maccubbin, as he was born, grew up in Norfolk right off of our very own Little Creek Rd1. Not much is known about his early years but it is known Maccubbin left the U.S. Army in 1968 during the Vietnam War, when he came out at the age of 28 and was discharged2. He was stationed in Virginia with the National Guard while there was much protest against the Vietnam War, and Maccubbin was a patient at Fort Belvoir, which is in Fairfax Virginia3. Maccubbin is most famous for opening the Lambda Rising bookstores in Washington D.C. and right here in Norfolk4. The Lambda Rising bookstores were some of the only bookstores in America which specialized in literature and erotica that was geared towards the LGBT community5.

Maccubbin and his partner, Jim Bennett opened the first store in June of 1974 in Washington D.C.6. Maccubbin and Bennett then opened a second a store in Baltimore in 1984, before then opening a third store in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and then finally then opening the fourth and final store right here in Norfolk, in which they signed the deed with on Jun 137. When the doors of both the original location and the Norfolk location opened, Maccubbin stated that the stores mission was to help preserve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer literature as it “is fundamental to the preservation of the our {the LGBT} culture,” as well as the affirmation of the stories and lives of the LGBT community8. Maccubbin, who is also a Norfolk native, has stated that everyone of the Lambda stores were opened never with the intention of making money, but supporting the LGBT community. Maccubbin also, in the year 1975, helped to organize one of the first Gay Pride Day, which drew over 2,000 people. Now today almost after over 40 years later, the same parade continues, though it is now called, Capital Pride, which now attracts over 250,0009.

Deacon Maccubbin was also a main forerunner in championing gay literature by hosting a literary event called the Lambda Literary Awards, also known affectionately as the “Lammies,” in 198910. This was an event in which honored a wonderful array of LGBT writers such as Paul Monette, Dorothy Allison as well as Edmund White11. There is also now an award that was started last year by the OutWrite LGBT Book Festival, which was presented by DC Front Runners, called the Deacon Maccubbin Young Writer Award12.

Deacon Maccubbin has been important to the Queer history of Norfolk not simply for founding one of the greatest literary awards in the LGBT community but also because of the support and help to the Queer community of Norfolk that Maccubbin has given. Deacon Maccubbin’s dedication to literature and the success of the LGBT community as a whole is what makes him such an instrumental part of Norfolk queer history and queer history across America.

1 1961. Hill’s Norfolk City Directory. City Directory , Norfolk : Hill Directory Co., Inc., Publishers.

2 Giambrone, Andrew. 2016. “D.C. No Longer Has a Central Gay Neighborhood. Does That Matter?” Washington               City Paper, June 2.

3 Giambrone, Andrew. 2016. “D.C. No Longer Has a Central Gay Neighborhood. Does That Matter?” Washington               City Paper, June 2.

4 DiGugliemo, Joey. 2015. “Queery: Deacon Maccubbin.” Washington Blade America’s LGBT News Source, June 10.

5 Dalphonse, Sherri. 2015. “You Must Remember……Deacon Maccubbin and Jim Bennet.” Washingtonian, October   12.

6 n.d. Lambda Literary . Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/.

Chibbaro Jr, Lou. 2009. “End of an era, as Lambda Rising to close.” Washington Blade: America’s LGBT News          Source, December 11.

8 n.d. Lambda Literary . Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/.

Dalphonse, Sherri. 2015. “You Must Remember……Deacon Maccubbin and Jim Bennet.” Washingtonian, October 12.

10  Barker, Melanie. 2015. “27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalist Announced.” Curve: The Best Selling Lesbian      Magazine. March 22. Accessed October 28, 2017. http://www.curvemag.com/Culture/27th-Annual-       Lambda-Literary-Award-Finalists-Announced-398/.

11  n.d. Lambda Literary . Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/.

12  2016. The DC Center for the LGBT Community. Accessed December 4, 2017. http://thedccenter.org/outwrite/youngwriterawards/.

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