Growing up in a conservative Catholic country, it can be hard to find forms of mainstream media that reflect the LGBTQ+ experience. With the release of movies like Love, Simon (adapted from YA book Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda), we’re seeing more representation in the coming-of-age genre.
Richard Mercado, the artist behind the viral webcomic Uy Si Crush (and also a YS contributor), was well aware of this gap. Inspired by his own experience growing up, and with the help of independent publisher Silaw Publishing, he wrote and illustrated Nang Ma-In Love Ako Sa Isang Sakristan— and yes, the story is just as intriguing as the title.
We talked to Richard about his motivations for publishing the comic book, how he came up with the idea for it, and what to expect in the weeks to come.
Young STAR: How did you come up with the idea for ‘Nang Ma-In Love Ako Sa Isang Sakristan‘?
Richard Mercado: I wanted to create a story specifically for the LGBT community, something that’s always lacking in the Philippine media. The story is about two boys, Francis and Didoy who discover they have feelings for one another, but the two get caught by Francis’ mom and Father Tony, the priest who is also Francis’ guardian. Francis and Didoy then immediately escape and that’s where the story begins. It’s both an adventure and a story of self-discovery between the two characters.
Can you tell us more about the characters of Francis and Didoy?
Richard: Francis is the son of the school principal and is the typical subdivision englishero rich kid. His mom upholds tight conservative values and through the story, he worries on how his mom will take his sexuality. Didoy on the other hand, is a sakristan and lives with Father Tony, and the two have a father-son relationship which is now tested with the revelation that Didoy is gay.