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?
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.