The word GAYDAR is the blend of “gay” and “radar”. Radar as you learned from your science book is a scientific method of finding position of things such as missiles by sending out radio waves. In other words, figuratively speaking, GAYDAR as defined in the book is the innate ability to spot another gay man no matter how hard he tries to hide his being gay. In this way, a gaydar associating with straight-acting men or paminta in Filipino after drawing off his radio waves will break the news under his breath that a very Adonis man women slobber over turns out to be part of the confederation. Yaaayy!
My university gay friend introduced me to Danton Remoto’s Ladlad : An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing. The book is a collection of different stories and poems written by different gay writers including his own oeuvres. In fact, some were written in Filipino. Most of the articles are erotic in language, so my reaction then since it was my first time to read such genre was some kinda prudish pursing my lips and arching my brows. I thought that reading such book is balderdash; it’s raunchy. So I did not like reading it much, especially I had no any ideas of his literary styles. But over time, I realized why Remoto , along with his award-winning co-author J. Neil C. Garcia, published such LAMBDA-Literary- Award-winning piece . Danton Remoto then was an active LGBT advocate. Thus, I had a rude awakening as though I had come out of my made-in-narra closet.
This is a compilation of Danton Remoto’s personal essays which were published in The Philippine Star from 1997 to 1999. He wrote about his growing up as a student abroad , with his family and friends , and his advocacy for the LGBT community. In effect, all of his essays are seethed in the same theme: life of being a gay in the Philippines. Also, he even wrote about the dilemmas such as the political circus and irresponsible journalism with which he had faced when he was still an advocate of LGBT.
I appreciated Danton Remoto’s writing styles now. As one of his commentators put before, he writes with substance. Most of his articles cling to reality, which knock the day light out of an idealistic reader, notably the clerics for an example. He associates his ideas with the social issues in metaphorical forms-typical of Philippine writing. You can relate to what he is trying to drive at such as mentioning some Philippine culture to justify his conspicuous advocacy. In addition, I am envious of his beautiful prose and clarity of writing. He really knows his stuff which must have given him a credible name in the modern Philippine literature.
Some writers are like crusaders . They put their talent for writing , although such skill can be learned, to good use , especially to making a big difference in society. For instance, black writers in the past just the likes of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, not to mention one of my favorite contemporary writers, Toni Morison , et al used their writing skills as their weapons to express their suppressible and dormant desires to revolt against the culture of racial discrimination. In terms of crusade against putrid perception about homosexuality, the only one popped into my mind was Oscar Wilde. Alas, he ended up in jail, for the society at that time was too vast to engulf him. As the history serves and since I have not been familiar with famous Philippine writers yet, Danton Remoto , along with J. Neil C. Garcia , is the only openly gay writer who has the audacity to do so using his flamboyantly decorated saber of writing.
A salute to you, Professor Danton Remoto! ^^
Rating : 5/ 5 stars