The Rainbow Tent: a space to show up as our true selves

We are enough. We are valid. We matter. We're creating spaces to be us, because when one of us rises, we all rise.

When we enter the Rainbow Tent, we step into a space outside space and a time before time. A space where we can show up as ourselves, in all our multi-colored beauty. A space where beautiful dreams are forged at the rough, messy, broken edges of our lives.

A space where labels fall away, because we have no need of them here.

In what we’ve grown used to calling `the real world’, we needed labels to help us find each other. But now we’re here, in our REAL real world: the place where we can finally say, with the deepest sigh of relief, “I’m enough. I’m valid. I matter. I’m making a difference just by being brave enough to show up as me.’ And we stop worrying about whether we’re gay or bisexual or pansexual, asexual or grey-ace or demisexual; whether we’re genderfluid or non-binary transmasculine or a trans man.

The labels have served their purpose: they’ve brought us together, and brought us home to our `us’ space. Because we are the Rainbow Underground, and without the labels, we wouldn’t have recognised each other.

We secretly walk the Rainbow Bridge between worlds, even while posing as ordinary people living ordinary lives. We are the ones with the vision and courage to say, silently or softly or loudly, ‘Whatever you thought I was: I am not that. I am this.’ We dance and sing and tell stories in the wildwood, beyond the boundaries of the ‘normal’ and the ‘expected-of-us’.

We make up our own labels now; we define our own names. We are artists and activists: Artivists. We are songwriters and lightworkers: Songworkers. We are time-travellers and tale-weavers: Timeweavers.

We have seen through the lies, we’ve had the courage to taste our own deep realities, and we’ve shared the story we always knew was true: that there are many, many, many ways to be human, but at the core of it all, we are All One, not just one with each other, but one with the whole vast rich multi-coloured community of life on this planet.

The Patriarchals have tried their best to burn us.

But we are transforming into phoenixes and rising from the ashes.

They’ve tried their best to drown us.

But we are transforming into mermaids and swimming away to new shores.

They’ve tried their best to bury us.

But we are transforming into badgers and digging tunnels to freedom.

They’ve tried their best to silence us.

But we are transforming into lions and roaring our true names to the sky. And even on the days when we can only roar in whispers, we know we don’t go unheard.

We know that the ripples from our shaky, tentative ‘This is my partner’ or ‘This is my real name’ or ‘These are my pronouns’ are spreading through the world and shaking the very foundations of the Patriarchy — the false belief that affluent able-bodied cisgender straight white men are the only people entitled to hold power.

We know that when one of us rises, we all rise. And so we repeat as often as we need to, to ourselves and to each other, the ancient mantra of the Rainbow Underground: We are enough. We are valid. We matter. We make a difference by being us.

Rainbow Tent is launching on 27 February 2018 at 7.30 pm GMT. Please put it in your calendar. Send us your songs, your positive energy, your prayers, your hopes, your good wishes, and your Rainbow dreams.

Send us your love, because Love always wins.

Share our mantra with other Rainbows, as loudly as you dare — whether it’s in a silent online message, in a whisper, in a conversation, in a song, in a shout, or in a fierce full-bellied roar:

We are enough. We are valid. We matter. We make a difference by being us.

Blessings,

Ash (they/them)

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