Geyluv, or Gay Love, in English touches sensitive socio-political issues that are far beyond literature. In some way, Geyluv challenges the Philippines’ conservativeness and the society’s untold discrimination against members of the third sex.
The Philippines is a conservative country. In fact, even up to this day liberal ideas including sex education, artificial contraceptives, divorce and gay and lesbian rights remain foreign to a significant segment of the Catholic-dominated country.
Fortunately, de Dios was valiant enough to use his pen to illustrate a vivid picture of the society’s strict yet said view of the third sex. Needless to say, same-sex relationships are kept hidden inside the “shame vault” of the Philippine society.
Just like Herman Ville’s classic masterpiece, Moby Dick, de Dios used a powerful one-liner to stir his readers’ curiosity. While Ville has his “Call me Ishmael,” de Dios has his “I love you Mike.” Simple, yet strong; short, yet descriptive.
The four-syllabic phrase, “I love you Mike” sends a clear and direct message to the readers. This is the short story – this is as real as it could be.
Geyluv’s main protagonists were also so ideal and realistic – so full of personality. Mike was a handsome bachelor. He is attractive, intelligent and full of masculinity. However, deep inside him is a carefree feminine voice.
On the other hand, here is Benjie. De Dios described Benjie as a “bitchy gay.” He doesn’t care whether you respect him for being a gay. He’s a gay and “eat your own ears,” he would say.
However, Benjie’s bitchiness is actually a defense mechanism aimed against the entire discriminating society. When everything has been said and done, Benjie is a caring, harmless and lovable partner.
While it’s hard to assume anything regarding...