Together in the Ether, Finally

'Together in the Ether, Finally,' is a Pride Month collaboration with Vans Malaysia that serves to foster LGBTQ+ artists through the OTW Pride Gallery Collection.
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Consider yourself found if this message finds you. Listen well, listen close. Listen, most of all, because these stories are well familiar. Come one, come all. Come with an open heart, but remember to shut the door behind you; otherwise, the electrifying magic flowing through these walls may weep. Like many tears taking flight through feverish nights when the answers you sought did not come knocking on your door, dripping wet in the rain. Although there was a tempest brewing in your chest and your stomach was lit ablaze in hellfire, there was no reunion you longed or prayed for. All you were allowed then were monsters under the bed and skeletons in the closet. Yet, here you are. You need only to cross the threshold. You’ve memorized your fears, see what forms they may take, and know them better than they know you. Come. There’s no ceiling to make us small here, no ground to swallow you whole.

Do you see its fluorescent colors? No, it’s not a trick. Nor is it a temptation. They’re real as you are, true as you are. In fact, we’ve been anticipating your arrival for quite some time. We know you’re exhausted, beaten down; the smile on your face is scarcely visible. Don’t worry, you’ll find all of that and more right here – now that you’ve found yourself.

After sensing you’re different from everyone else, it’s like traversing a wet, moldy, dark cavern where the cosmos rearranges itself each night and you find yourself navigating a new maze each morning – unsolved. And those who are fortunate enough to make it out – if you’re lucky – are met by beings in their image, but with peculiarities that previously isolated them, too. And in your fateful congregation, your divergences are celebrated, championed, created to be worn as badges of honor, and made to be adored in your shared church. Because it’s only when you’re all alone together in the ether that you realize there’s strength in numbers.