Local Books to Read This Pride Month

If you’re looking for great local LGBT+ books, then look no further! To celebrate Pride Month, here are the LGBT+ books that we recommend for your to-read list.

  • Riverrun
    by Danton Remoto

Riverrun is a rite-of-passage novel in the life of a young gay man growing up in a colorful and chaotic dictatorship. Shaped in the form of a memoir, it glides from childhood to young adulthood in chapters written like flash fiction and vignettes, along with a recipe, a feature article, excerpts from poems, and vivid songs.

  • Don’t Tell Anyone
    by Ian Rosales Casocot and Shakira Andrea C. Sison

If sex remains taboo in the Philippines, gay and lesbian sex is still even more unspoken. “How do you do it?” is still the most common question queer Pinoys get. Even after that question is answered, there is still the popular notion that only heterosexual sex is ‘the real thing,’ and anything else is just a deviation or an attempt to replicate the male-female dynamic of human contact.

This book makes up for this history of invalidation. An unprecedented dirty dozen, Sison’s and Casocot’s stories are direct and unflinching. They make no qualms or apologies about the nature of sex between two men or between two women. They explore courtship and contact between same-gender partners with humor, hesitation and obsession, and eventually take the reader with them as they reel from heartbreak.

Whether you consider straight sex ‘the real thing,’ or are among the LGBTQ community that is hungry for a true account of Filipino gay and lesbian loving, one thing this collection and its characters do, over and over without exhaustion, is to keep on trying.

  • Bright, Catholic, and Gay
    by Danton Remoto

A collection of award-winning writer and activist Danton Remoto’s short essays on popular culture, politics, and other important and controversial national issues. Remoto has taught English and Literature for more than twenty years and worked as a communications analyst at the United Nations Development Programme. He is a multimedia personality: as host of a radio and a TV show and a columnist for a daily and an online news portal. He founded the Ladlad Party List in 2003, whose accreditation was refused by the Commission on Elections. This led to the historic decision affirming the equality of LGBT rights and opening the door to representation in Philippine Congress.

  • Don’t Tell My Mother
    by Brigitte Bautista

With an overly zealous mother as her guide, 19-year-old Sam has never had problems navigating through Christian suburbia before. But, all that changes when she befriends and becomes intrigued with Clara, her widowed neighbor and the village’s social outcast. When their friendship grows into the “unnatural”, Sam is forced to examine her upbringing and come to terms with who she really is.

  • Beijing Comrades
    by Bei Tong, translated by Scott E. Myers

Set in the tumult of China in the late eighties, Beijing Comrades gives us the story of two very different men–Handong, a self-absorbed businessman from the city, and Lan Yu, a quiet student activist from the countryside–falling in love and struggling to keep their relationship afloat in a society where their desire is yet to be recognized as anything but an illness. As the first English translation of the text, this edition finally brings to the English-speaking world a pioneering narrative of homosexuality in China. It is a sorely needed new perspective in the world of queer literature.

  • He’s Dating the Transgender
    by Art Sta. Ana

Hindi ba ang mahalaga ay yung pinaniniwa­laan namin at nakikita namin kesa sa kung ano’ng sabihin ng iba?

Nakilala ni Art si Trixie anim na taon na ang nakalipas. Nagsuyuan, nagmahalan, at nagplano para sa kinabukasan, ngunit dahil lumaki sa magkaibang mundo, sinubukan ng dalawa na itago ang isang napakaliit ngunit tila napakahalagang detalye sa pagkatao ni Trixie. Alamin ang mga eksenang magpapasaya, magpapaluha, at magpapatotoo na ang pag-ibig ay walang kinikilala.

“What this book is about, more than anything else, is love. And it’s written like any love story that captures our imagination—from the heart, pure and simple.” –From the Foreword of AA Patawaran, Lifestyle Editor of Manila Bulletin

  • Happy Na, Gay Pa
    by Danton Remoto

I long for the day when Filipinos in the LGBT community no longer have to live in fear of discrimination. The media, both new and traditional, play important roles in making that possible. By telling the stories of the LGBT community, they shatter biases born out of misinformation. I commend Danton Remoto for contributing to the narrative of LGBT Pinoys in his book Happy Na, Gay Pa. To critics of the LGBT movement, I say: Stupid is forever.

-Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago

  • I Am Jake
    by Jake Zyrus

Charice Pempengco was poised to be the next big global pop star, the most powerful names in Hollywood staunchly behind her. But she bravely turned her back on the glittering lights of Hollywood for a bigger dream—to be himself in a world that tried its best to erase him from his own story. From his turbulent childhood to the dizzying heights of Hollywood, and the fall from grace to his rebirth, Jake Zyrus delves into it all and inspires with his story of becoming.

  • The Best of Ladlad
    by J. Neil C. Garcia and Danton Remoto

Two decades after the publication of the first Ladlad: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing, editors J. Neil C. Garcia and Danton Remoto offer this “Best of” edition, comprised of a selection of what they consider the most accomplished and enduring poems, stories, essays, and plays, from the spanking three-volume literary harvest of the last twenty years.

These books are available in selected National Book Store branches. You can also order online at www.anvilpublishing.com.