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[#RapplerReads] Books that showcase the Filipino LGBTQ+ experience

Saab Lariosa

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[#RapplerReads] Books that showcase the Filipino LGBTQ+ experience
There's no better person to tell their stories than the LGBTQ+ authors themselves

Editor’s note: #RapplerReads is a project by the BrandRap team. We earn a commission every time you shop through the affiliate links below.

There’s nothing like being able to tell your story in your own words.

As diverse and nuanced as the LGBTQ+ experience can be, there’s something heartwarming about the shared experience of growing up queer in a country like the Philippines. While the Philippines is not the worst place to be queer, our laws still need some work when it comes to improving the lives of the LGBTQ+ community.  That’s why, as allies, we must step in to lend a hand and an ear to the queer people in our lives. 

Let’s start by listening to their stories.  Celebrate Pride Month this June by stepping into the Filipino LGBTQ+ experience – straight from the people brave enough to share their stories.

“Brief Histories” by Don Jaucian

A must-read for any queer Filipino who grew up in the 90s, Don Jaucian captures the cultural zeitgeist with a fresh perspective through the shows, cartoons, video games, and references that molded him into the gay man he is today. 

In this dazzling debut essay collection, Brief Histories balances the deeply personal with the widely felt experience of being a gay boy in the Philippines – making for an intimate read for queers of all ages.

“Tingle: Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing” by Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz

Diverse in terms of story, style, and voices, Tingle is a collection of short stories that will leave you asking: How come we’ve never read so many of these stories before? 

A borderline between heartbreaking and heartwarming, the talented Filipina lesbian writers behind Tingle will make you feel like the simple act of reading these once-shunned stories is a revolutionary act.

Riverrun” by Danton Remoto

If you’re looking for a more in-depth and year-spanning novel, check out this critically-acclaimed entry from Danton Remoto. Riverrun follows the life of a young boy named Danilo Cruz as he grows up in Pampanga and moves to Quezon City during the Martial Law era. He learns further about his sexuality as the nation takes a historic turn of its own. 

Written in short entries, or vignettes, the book serves as an interesting deep dive into the perils and pleasures of gay boyhood in the Philippines.

“Busilak: New LGBTQ Poetry from the Philippines” by J. Neil C. Garcia

Poetry has always had the power to evoke feelings and memories with just a few words, but there’s something exceptionally touching when it’s written by a community that had few words to represent their emotions growing up. 

With the poems dubbed as “postconfessional” in the way they “confess their makers’ gendered and sexual subjectivities” according to Garcia, Busilak is a must-read for any budding LGBTQ+ writer and poet that want raw queer emotions displayed unashamedly on the page.  

In what other ways can you empower LGBTQ+ stories this Pride Month? – Rappler.com

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Saab Lariosa

Saab Lariosa is a content producer for Rappler’s BrandRap.