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Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM

Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM

J. Neil C. Garcia

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A groundbreaking and immensely important work in local literary and cultural studies, Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM proposes both an empirical and a conceptual history: on one hand, a descriptive survey of popular and academic writings on and by Filipino male homosexuals, and on the other, a genealogy of discourses and performativities of male homosexuality and the bakla and/or gay identity that they effectively materialized in urban Philippines from the 1960s to the present. To contextualize its questions properly, chis conceptual history not only engages with significant recent events in the Philippines' sexually self-aware present, but also harks back to the colonial past. This critical procedure uncovers che process of sexualization, in and through the discursive enforcements of the allied institutions of colonial modernity, that implanted the new sexual order of "homo/hetero," and further minoritized what had already been an undesirable, because effeminate, local identity: the bakla. Nonetheless, as memorably demonstrated by the literary texts that this study critiques-an unpublished novel by Severino Montano, a cultic one-act play by Orlando Nadres, and a controversial personal anthology by Tony Perez--there exist encouraging narratives that the pathologizing of the bakla into and as a homosexual has made available. These are the narratives of hybridity, appropriation, and postcolonial resistance, which may be seen in the works of many notable bakla writers and artists who have, in their own unique ways, enriched Philippine gay culture as well as Philippine culture as a whole.

Published in 1996 by University of the Philippines Press

536 pages / Paperback

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