A few qualifications have been made here: as much as I stress the importance of queer representation and how it can help others in coming to terms with one’s sexual identity, I recognize that the label of “queer writer” can be limiting. There is the misguided notion that the gay Filipino writer is interested only in sexual matters, and topics that directly relate to gender, which is false. Plus, it’s not like we call straight writers “straight writers.”
However, in the interest of introducing you to some homegrown writers I believe deserve more attention, I’ll quote writer J. Neil Garcia, who also happens to appear on this list. He writes: “One’s being gay will always be part of one’s literary creation, as the background scaffolding from which one paints frescoes of words on ceilings of feeling and thought. And if this were so,” he continues, “then why even bother to hide it — indeed, why make it more difficult for one’s readers to get to the heart of one’s oeuvre by figuratively disguising one’s true, inescapably homosexual” — or in this case, generally queer — “self?”
We celebrate that fact that queer literature can tell certain truths that other stories can’t, and queer writers have voices that cannot be replicated. That said, here are a few names you might like to add to your bookshelf.