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Sam Domingo

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Life and Practice

Sam Domingo is a writer, theatre practitioner, and curator. Born and raised in the Philippines, she writes essays, poems, and plays that have reached more territories than her two feet. Her writings were featured locally and internationally: Australia, Singapore, Poland, and the UK. She is a contributor to CODAME, an international arts NGO in the USA. She completed psychology and minor studies in English literature from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2019. She uses this background to discuss the silenced narratives of the human condition especially of the marginalized (i.e. LGBTQ+ community), and our struggle with technology in Asia.

Perspective

Living with my mother's queer and yet religious side of the family: one with my straight mom, one straight uncle, one gay uncle, and two lesbian aunts, I can say that I am one of the lucky members of the LGBTQ+ to experience the easy process of coming out. I mentioned "lucky" because up until now, despite the progressive air, many of my fellow members still do not have the chance to come out safely. This current condition is made worse by media and literature saturated by negative and bleak experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. This project called "An Alfonso on the Table, Empty Yet Full" is born out of that issue. I hope to portray a more positive and colorful experience of growing up as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

As much as these unfavorable narratives help provide awareness in the plight of LGBTQ+ members in and outside the community and foster an environment of understanding among our parents, these can demotivate unsure and closeted members to explore their identities and come out if wanted. The project believes that in reimagining a better future for the LGBTQ+ community, it is crucial that we present, and not deny, our affirmative realities. Included in these realities are the possibilities of a harmonious relationship and a celebration of identity with fellow and non- LGBTQ+ family members. This depiction, however, does not mean that the project does not talk about difficulties in upbringing. These adversities are part of one's upbringing and do not vanish in a retelling; it's just that the main focus of the experiences (gathered from my interactions with my family) would be those that contain a generally positive outlook (despite its issues). Through this narrating, targeted readers like allies, outsiders, closeted, and even out community members can have a balanced view of its members - looking at us as not miserable but empowered and jolly in being who we are. I believe that the poems, set in our own home in a drinking session in Mabitac, Laguna, can motivate people to stay in the cause of gender equality and find unity in the rejoicing of stories as vivid as the personalities of LGBTQ+ members. Even if through a zine and a virtual exhibit, the project believes that this positivity can persuade people to join a meaningful revolution of gender equality.

As the author of the poems for the virtual exhibit, my personal goal (apart from those mentioned) is to be more comfortable retelling my own experiences. It's ironic, in my reflection, that I haven't reached that level of flexibility to be more open in regards to my struggles, yet I find more ease in depicting other people's struggles. Perhaps, it's the urgency of other people's stories that I find more persuasive as a force to drive my creativity than mine -- when my personal stories matter the same way or if not more. I then take this writing opportunity to let loose as the readers let loose too.

© 2021. GlobalGRACE Philippines

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