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The Book of Sainted Aunts: The Illustrated Portraits of Mildly Martyred Sinners-Turned-Saints Since Queerdom Come

Literary Work

"The Book of Sainted Aunts: The Illustrated Portraits of Mildly Martyred Sinners-Turned-Saints Since Queerdom Come Poster, illustration of a person rendered in blue and with a gold halo, a cat "

[obsolete] An “aunt” is slang for middle-aged and elderly gay men or lesbian women (who were often mentors taking on protective roles for younger queers), reclaimed from the original association with an old madam who runs a prostitution brothel.

[current] The sainted aunts who have come before us have only been recently recognised. Since queerdom came, the revised requirements for sainthood have become more inclusive to the diverse forms of martyrdom and falsely-named sins of the past.

A Suggested Prayer:

O ordinary sainted aunts, ever-human in the outpouring of caring love, you are the elders we did not have in our fallen and straight-laced families. By praying to you we recognise the wondrous healing that comes through humble acts. You sainted aunts, often cursed, rejected and neglected – you formed us in your communities and for that we give praise and thanks.

Pray for us who are so lost; make use of our confusion, awaken us to the privileges we have, enable us to act with gentleness to ourselves and others.

Come to my assistance on days when the greatest struggle is getting out of bed, that I may believe in the transformative power of daily rituals. May my every breath remind me of the goodness that exists in these volatile times.

Come to my assistance when I face [mention your concern], that the varied attitudes, skills and coping mechanisms you have embodied may find their ways of working in my specific circumstances.

I promise thee, O blessed sainted aunts, to be ever mindful of being within this world as part of the magnificently diverse chorus your legacies have sustained. I promise to do all in my power, through acts of radical hope that seems ridiculous to the world, to hold the space for miracles to happen.

Anna Onni


Anna Onni’s life goals include living in an environmentally-sustainable commune, getting over her debauched postcolonial hangover, and paying someone to convert the tunes of "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" and other Tom Lehrer favourites into a low-fi hip-hop album for her to play on loop. She is an asexual panromantic living in Singapore who posts doodles and shower thoughts on Instagram (@annaonni). In her spare time, she is an educator who illustrates and rips up old periodicals and books into crafting materials. Her work is published in the literary anthology Food Republic (2020), with The Birthday Collective, and she illustrates for The Singapore War Crimes Trials Project.



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