This was one of the books I bought using my National Bookstore gift certificates at the #SparkNA book-launch last February 2018 at the Shangri-La Mall. I promised myself to discover new Filipino authors so.
And it intrigued me!
Because it’s about LGBT!
Important note: This will be my first time reading an F/F story.
Took a while for me to pick it up, to be honest. As I have the tendency to be obsessive-compulsive about my books, they have to have plastic covers first. Took a while to do that too. I only scratched the itch last week.
So from a pile of newly plastic covered books, I picked ‘Don’t Tell my Mother’.
I was a bit scared and excited about what I would read though. So I was very very discreet to crack it open.
I felt like lightning would zap me if I read it.
Yep, attending an all-girl school from preparatory to high school did that. And it was hard to get away from the mindset that had been drilled deep into our consciousness.
But I told myself, fuck it. What was wrong about reading an LGBT story?
I spoke to soon though.
The first line had me barking a laugh. I wasn’t ready for that at all. But I plowed through and paragraph after paragraph was shocking. But the very honest, quirky and makulit voice of the author made it an enjoyable read. I love her voice! Side note: I was at the #SparkNA launch back in February and witnessed that the author herself is also makulit when she had to share the couch onstage with two authors who weren’t around and she did all the introductions, hahaha.
Back to the story.
‘Don’t Tell My Mother’ tackles the discrimination against the LGBT community. How in the eyes of many, liking someone of the same sex is considered an illness that must be cured, an aberration in society that must be purged. A sin against God.
But nothing is more painful if this treatment comes from your own family.
I could also relate with how Catholic schools tend to shove down our throats that homosexual orientation is wrong. But wouldn’t explain further after that.
I love how this story depicts that a lot of people who claim to be living the Word of God could just be hypocritical. Or that they do not fully understand what is written in the Bible.
This reminds me of the two greatest commandments: “Love God and love your neighbor.”
We love God by loving others. Love others as you love yourself. Full stop.
Before this review turns into a bloody rant or reflection paper, I hope everyone–straight or gay–gets to read Don’t Tell My Mother in hopes that it would somehow break down walls and embrace the LGBT community.
Like it did to me. 🙂
Thank you, Brij, for taking courage to write this beautiful, enjoyable, painful and victorious story of Sam 🙂