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I wear the rainbow for those of us who don’t believe in marriage, are single, polyamorous, in open relationships…

I wear the rainbow for those of us who don’t believe in marriage, are single, polyamorous, in open relationships…

I wear this rainbow for all the citizens of the rainbow.

I wear this rainbow for my gay and lesbian friends who believe in marriage and who can now do say ‘I do’ to the one we love.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who have married but to the opposite sex and hoping not to be found out, who thought marriage would cure us, hide us, those who were found out and shamed, those waiting for the right moment to explain, who decided to leave and never return, who lovingly released each other from vows, who can’t because of the kids, who did, whose kids love them still.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who don’t believe in marriage, who say I do without a paper, who are serial monogamists, who are single, slut, virgin, celibate, masturbator, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, widowed, divorced, polyamourous, in open relationships, who are friends with benefits, friendzoned, unfriended, it’s complicated, it’s over but I don’t know how to end it, happy ending seekers, happy loners, the lovers, the dreamers and me.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who are coloured, migrant, indigenous, asylum seeking, homeless, sex working, begging, aging, living on minimum wage, living on welfare, living with HIV, forgotten and invisible, not sexy enough to be put on posters, make our own posters anyway.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who are transgender, transsexual, post-op, pre-op, partial-op, non-op, won’t operate for religious reasons, cannot afford surgeries, put life savings into surgeries, couldn’t wait to transition, waited till 65, who are drag queens, cross-dressers, fetishists, androgynous, genderqueer, who are intersex and knows which gender he or she is, intersex and hope we get a chance to decide who we want to be, intersex and happy to be just intersex, who cannot hide our rainbow even when they come at us with rainbow-breaking weapons.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who are bullied at school, kicked out from homes, left to fend for ourselves, sold into trade we were too young to understand, blackmailed by colleagues, by flings, by friends, by ex-lovers, who are harassed by police, by immigration officers, by bosses, and have no one to turn to, who are fired from work, dishonourably discharged, forced to resign, forced to flee from everything, who go west, go east, go north, go south, who sees other people’s rainbow and wonder where is ours, who sees the rainbows and say, one day it will be ours.

I wear this rainbow for those of us in reparative therapy, in mental treatments for our sexual orientation and gender identity, in mental treatment for our mental treatments, in repentance, in penance, in meditation, in prayers, praying away the gay, praying away the doubts, in limbo, in hell, in heaven now because we couldn’t take it anymore.

I wear this rainbow for those of us in prison, in court, on the witness stand, on parole, in hard labour, in gulags, in concentration camps, in exile, on death row, thrown at with rocks, thrown over towers, thrown overboard, hung, shot, crucified, raped, poisoned, castrated, had objects forced up our orifices, cigarettes, pointed sticks, bayonets, who were instructed to commit suicide, who died from honour killing at the hands of family, who were beheaded, beaten beyond recognition, left to die, nobody knows who we are.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who hide, who pretend, who pass, who bind, who wants to just be like everyone else, who are in closets, who believe we should be respectfully private, who believe we should not be too loud, who are tired of being private, who can’t help being loud, who tell others our lovers are just best friends, but everyone knows we are more than friends anyway, who have to leave our best friends when our family finds out, who are out to close friends only, out to friends but not family, out to family but not colleagues, out to everyone but none of your fucking business, back in the closet when travelling among strangers.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who have gone before, who had a chance to escape but faced the risk, who were convicted, who were chemically castrated, outcast from work, outcast from politics, lost reputations, whose books were burned, who were made outlaws, who survived, who did not, whose books are now bestsellers, whose plays are on our stages again, whose stories are our histories, the sunlight shining through their lonely tears giving us our rainbows today.

I wear this rainbow for those of us questioning, fighting, giving up, still protesting, sitting in, heckling presidents, filing judicial reviews, losing, fighting again, winning, changing laws, watching laws change back, studying, critiquing, writing, making music, making movies, making speeches, making allies, baking cakes, organising, rallying, going to the streets, going for rallies, fighting for marriage, fighting for more than marriage, fighting for basic rights, fighting for equality for all, clicking likes, writing status updates, changing profile pictures to rainbow.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who are afraid to change our profile pictures to rainbow, who feel pressured to do it because everyone else is doing it, refuse to, disagree with those who do, unfriend those who disagree, who put on the rainbow not sure what it means, who do it because it is pretty, who put on the rainbow as a way to come out, who put on the rainbow as an ally, who put on the rainbow and say we are an ally when we actually want to come out, but it will do for now.

I wear this rainbow for those of us who love, who are afraid to love, who are broken by love, who love secretly, who love proudly, who love rainbows, who love those who love rainbows, who love without rainbows, whose love shines a rainbow where we are, where rainbows fear to tread, where only the rainbow knows who we are. We are part of the rainbow. We are the rainbow.

Pang Khee Teik is the co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka.