Have you read 'The Gay Gatsby'? How about 'Little Women Loving Women'?

AD NUT's PICK OF THE WEEK: Propel Manila retells lit classics with a representative Pride spin.

Creative digital agency Propel Manila, in collaboration with non-profit [email protected], Google, Facebook, IBM and Globe, has rewritten a series of literary classics in an effort to redress under-representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in hundreds of years of written works. 

A live reading of the stories, including Pride and no Prejudice, Dragula, Life of Bi and Romeo and Julian, took place on June 26, and video versions and a podcast are in the works. In addition to many western works, the series also includes re-engineered versions of local stories Ibong Adara, Florante at Laura, and Si Malakas at Si Maganda.

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[email protected] is a non-profit equality organisation composed of LGBTQIA+ volunteers and allies. 

Covering themes of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, love, sex, dating, coming out, and acceptance, the stories were written by Yenee Galicia, Austin, Tan and Eunice Maximo, and illustrated by Hayami Kudo, Nichole Sanchez, Marsh Mitra, Gab Pescadero, Brent Guzman, Ella Mercado, Arnel Villanueva, Roxette Gagal, Yuko Maki, and Third Lorenzo.

At the live reading, the stories were performed by popular LGBTQIA+ artists, educators and activists including Leeroy New, Mela Habijan, Queenmelo Esguerra, Macoydubs, Anthony Falcon and Justin Melo, as well as creators and poets like Joti Tabula, Duane Pascua, Yanyan Gervero, and Redge Tolentino.

Raymund Sison, Propel Manila chief creative:

Stories are powerful. As creators, we aim to give the right and enough representation to the LGBTQIA+ community. Because representation matters. Representation creates perception. Perception shapes culture, and ultimately, shapes our reality. 

JC Valenzuela, Propel Manila CEO: 

The truth is most of us grew up with little or close-to-none references and representation to how we identify with. We wanted to change this and we wanted to make our stories known.

This story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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