Winner First Place in both the LGBTQ Non-fiction and First-time Non-fiction categories of the 2023 International Firebird Book Awards
Boy wonder by day. Boy toy by night.
A child TV personality from a prominent Filipino family and the son of an accomplished academic, Jobert Abueva was a high achiever at his all-boys Catholic international school in Tokyo, Japan. Whatever Jobert did, he had to be the best, racking up achievements. He was a favorite among his fellow students, who elected him twice to the Student Council as vice president and president. Jobert was a brain bowl, excelling on the school's debating team, a speech all-star, and a varsity track hero. He wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook and performed in school plays. A golden boy who could do no wrong. But Jobert had a secret nobody could know. At night, led a clandestine existence turning tricks with foreign male guests at Tokyo's world-renowned Imperial Hotel. So it's not surprising that he had to be the best and was handsomely paid for it. More exciting and better pay than delivering newspapers. A BMOC (Big Man on Campus), he juggled dual identities of boy wonder and boy toy, sure that if exposed, he would be shunned by his friends and devastate all who groomed him for greatness.
Boy Wander is an intimate coming-of-age portrait of the author's sexuality as seen through the eyes of a child of the 1960s and 70s and a teenager before the advent of AIDS and finally as a young man arriving in America. From Manila, Kathmandu, Bangkok, and Kyoto to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, the author navigates denial and acceptance, erotic and unconditional love, transience, and transnationalism. Even as the world has become more accepting over the decades, this book's present-day relevance provides inspiration to those struggling to reconcile family values and societal expectations with being true to themselves.