Hello lovely readers! As you are hopefully aware, we are now officially in LGBTQIA+ history month!! Now, this is not your normal book review. There is a list of non-fiction LGBTQ+ media made by Shreya Rajappa, our ASB Commissioner of Intercultural Relations, that you should check out (linked here and at the end), as well as some information about a fun author talk hosted by the GSA. So, buckle up, because this is a good one.
On Friday the 29th (10/29), Michael Dumlao is going to be in the library at lunch (starting at 12 pm and possibly going into third period) talking about his new book, The Wisdom of Guncles! You can RSVP for this event here and be entered into a raffle for a free copy of their book! While it is always exciting to hear an author talk, this is especially exciting because Michael is a San Marcos alumni! So, yes, he went here, and they were one of the first openly queer people on campus. In preparation for this special event, I absolutely had to read his book.
To fully understand The Wisdom of Guncles, you need to know a few key terms. First of all, a “guncle” is a gay uncle. Also, “nibling” is the gender-neutral term for nieces and nephews. Both of those come up a lot in the book, and if you are unfamiliar with them (as I was) hopefully you will be less confused going forward. This book features stories and advice from 10 fabulous Guncles, including the author. It emphasizes the importance of family- blood or chosen, and challenges you to look at traditional beliefs in a different way. Although their lives have been far from easy, these Guncles are still able to share love and wisdom about coming to terms with your identity.
This is not a book I would have ever picked out for myself. I had no idea what a Guncle was, and I am not usually a fan of anthology type books. Despite this, I immediately found comfort in the Guncles’ stories, and didn’t want to stop reading. I really enjoyed the storytelling style of this book. The author interweaves the dialogue of each Guncle with beautiful imagery of their lives, and what things were like. I don’t want to pick favorites, but my two favorite Guncles were Darnell (“The Explorer”) and Domingo (“The Alchemist”). Reading about all of Darnell’s adventures was really fun, and it is so inspiring to read how he did not let his cerebral-palsy and wheelchair stop him. Domingo’s past was really hard, but I love how glittery and fantastic they are in spite of that. My favorite part of their section was their niece Estrella coming out to them. That shows how much of an inspiration Domingo is, and how much they have encouraged their niblings to be who they are. I hope one day I can find a Guncle of my own, but for now, I will borrow wisdom from this book, and draw inspiration from these exceptional Guncles.
Ok, before you all leave me, here is Shreya’s list with a bunch of non-fiction LGBTQ+ books/movies/podcasts to check out if you haven’t already! Thanks so much to Shreya, because it has so many awesome resources! As always, happy reading, and see you on Friday with the release of our paper in print!