Regarded as the first anglophone Filipino literary modernist, José Garcia Villa (1908–1997) has typically been seen as an aesthetic formalist who refused to place literature in the service of national or ethnic politics. This essay rethinks this presumption by pursuing a queer diasporic approach to Villa's early fiction and essays of the 1920s and 1930s, focusing in particular on his queer critiques of gender and sexual normativity in the Philippines and of social assimilation in the United States. Situating Villa's engagements with nonnormative eroticism within a transnational context structured by U.S. colonialism and migration, the article contends with and resists the seductions of U.S. homonationalism while seeking to decolonize some of the critical assumptions informing the relation between the queer present and the queer(ed) past.

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