An Exorcism of Demons

By Michael Marbella, FINDInk Contributor

When I created this piece, I essentially wrote it as a lyrical “**** you” to this implicitly expressed idea within my family that my sexual orientation is something to be ashamed of and something that my grandparents wouldn’t have approved of if they were alive. But, in hindsight, I also created this piece for other young, queer Filipin@s who are still finding their way out of the closet, who are still working towards a more loving acceptance of themselves and their identities.

For my queer kababayans reading this, I want you to know that even if you are still struggling with gaining the acceptance of those who love you that there will also be people who will open themselves to you and welcome you into their lives wholly and fully as you are. You are loved, you are accepted, and you are essential to the fabric of what makes up the gorgeous tapestry that is the Philippines and Filipino America.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat sa pagbasa nito.


An Exorcism of Demons

according to my aunt

my Lola would have exorcised the gay out of me

like errant demons into a herd of swine

so I spit back the words of the Roman Missal

like a mouthful of loose teeth

but now I see my Lola

seated at the right hand of the father

coming in glory to judge me

because I am the serpent

gliding through the branches of the tree

I am eve

banished from the garden

for sin too detestable to those who made me

because I wondered

what was under adam’s fig leaf

and I partook of the fruit that I found

to sate my hunger

for a knowledge only god had.

I was told once that the lord was with me,

to bow my head

and to pray for god’s blessing

but, holy grandmother, mother of my mother,

would you pray for me—a sinner—

now and at the hour of my death

or, like Tita Neneng, will you damn me for my sins

and banish me to the fires of hell

because my soul cannot be led into heaven,

even though I am in most need of thy mercy?

o, kapamilya,

I am sorry if I have offended thee

because, though I dread the loss of your love

and the pain of your scorn,

I firmly intend

to never do penance

or make amends for my life

because I confess: who I am is not a sin.


Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.