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Excerpt from C.E. Gatchalian's Double Melancholy at Electric Literature

Excerpt from C.E. Gatchalian's Double Melancholy at Electric Literature

By Arsenal Pulp Date: June 17, 2019 Tags: C.E. Gatchalian, Double Melancholy

An excerpt from C.E. Gatchalian's memoir Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man - about the author's affinity with Anne of Green Gables as a young boy - appears at Electric Literature:

"There are obvious reasons why a little brown queer boy would fall in love with Anne Shirley. Anne is an orphan and, consequently, like virtually every queer child, an outsider in every family she ends up with. With her red hair and freckles, she is, in her own way, racialized, given the still-present stigma against redheads in white society. She is a girl in a world that vastly prefers boys, shipped by mistake to a family expecting and wanting a boy. In the face of these challenges she strives, Herculean, towards unadulterated poetry, beauty, transcendence. This she achieves with her most unassailable attribute, her imagination, constructing a divine counterworld to the colonial conservatism of early-20th-century Prince Edward Island."

Gatchalian's book traces his life as an introverted, anxious, ambitious, artistically gifted queer Filipino-Canadian boy who finds solace, inspiration, and a "syllabus for living" in art - works of literature and music, from the children's literary classic Anne of Green Gables to the music of Maria Callas. Of the book, author Chelene Knight writes: "Double Melancholy is a game-changing memoir. To be queer and to be brown are separate struggles, but to occupy a body and mind locked between the two is a world we cannot all experience. Stuck in the crevice where the personal meets the political, we the readers root for the narrator. Brilliant and gripping."

You can read the excerpt here.