Pride Lit: Stories That Promote Both Pride and Philippine Literature
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, July 09, 2019 11:40am
Art by Dani Elevazo
For the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, the fight for equality and rights goes beyond the Pride March. A protest may be the best way to have their voice be heard, but others opt to put the battle onto paper. There are writers who silently scream for LGBTQIA+ acceptance through stories written on a medium that’s far from dying—print.
Taking Pride in Pride Lit
Pride Lit is the first Filipino pop literature imprint focused on championing LGBTQIA+ narratives. Red Line Media, under Precious Hearts Romances, created this space for the underrepresented to share their stories. Apart from being a great source of entertainment, it teaches its readers the value of appreciation and acceptance. Writers take pride as Pride Lit is “where love is love and gender doesn’t matter.”
Now on its third year, Pride Lit launches five new titles: Alex Rosas’ gender-swap romance Gay’s Anatomy; Soju’s campy fantasyAng Asul Na Buntot Ni Aquano; John Jack G. Wigley’s ensemble drama Kadenang Bahaghari; Lush Ericson’s instant pleaser Agustin and Ariston’s Version of the Universe; and Angelica Sorreda’s romantic offering Over Time.
Pride and Philippine Literature
We’re aware that these books highlight the love and lives of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are love stories between men, women, transgenders, and queers. But digging deeper into this imprint, it is more than a means to promote pride or #LoveWins. In fact, it is also one way to promote Philippine Literature.
“Ang produksyon ng kahit anong libro ay isang uri ng pagpapayabong ng panitikan ng isang bansa,” author and creative writing professor John Jack Wigley said during Pride Lit’s press conference. We are all readers, he added. We just have to find the right reading material that suits us, and Pride Lit offers other options to people.
Author and teacher Lush Ericson thinks Pride Lit promotes Philippines Literature by making this a book for Filipinos. These stories have Filipino characters they can relate to. And for Alex Rosas, they can encourage people within that community to read through making stories about them.
“Ito ay kwento ng isang Pilipinong bading kung paano siya umibig, paano siya masaktan. Tingin ko po kasi yung mga kwentong nagpapakita ng kulturang Pilipino ay panitikang Pilipino,” Lush Ericson said.
Celebrating Love as It Is
We might think Pride Lit is something special—a symbol that allies continue to fight for equality and the right to love who they want to love; but for publisher Segundo “Jun” Matias, he doesn’t want to make it grand. As he says, love is love and the LGBTQIA+ relationship is no different from “straight” romances.
“Pride Lit is literature to me. Pride lit is one of the books that we publish. Pride lit is not something special, it's not a big deal. We're all human beings,” Matias said.
Pride Lit not only continues the fight for equality but also promote our culture and literature through these pop lit narratives. What’s next for this publication? Expect more compelling stories that tackle love, struggles, and of course, acceptance.
For more information, visit Pride Lit on Facebook.