June is Pride Month: Spotlight on 2S people

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June is Pride Month: Spotlight on 2S people

Image: Alane Golden

June is Pride Month and Indigenous History Month. We celebrate the LGBTQ2SI+ community and 2S people.

“Historically, individuals with cross-gender identity were revered in First Nations cultures and looked to as leaders, visionaries, and healers. Embodying both masculine and feminine traits, two-spirit people were thought to be blessed with the ability to move between gender roles and were given important spiritual responsibilities as [a] result.”

“Gender roles were fluid in pre-colonial societies. Words to describe up to six different gender variants, beyond the binary of male and female, have been found in 155 Indigenous nations of North America. The Cree, for example, refer to them as Aayahkwew (‘neither man nor woman’), and the Navajo refer to them as nàdleehé or ‘one who changes’. To help individuals determine the gender they were drawn towards, rites of passage were often used.”

“It wasn’t until the onset of the federally run residential schools in the late 19th century, and the aggressive proliferation of European Christian influences, that being gay became stigmatized.”

(Kelsey Klassen, “Two spirits, one struggle: The front lines of being First Nations and gay,” Vancouver Courier)

See full article at: https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/courier-archive/news/two-spirits-one-struggle-the-front-lines-of-being-first-nations-and-gay-2982798

For more insights see:

CLEBC’s TRC27 Blog: https://www.cle.bc.ca/beyond-the-binary-two-spirit-people/

Urban Native Youth Association website: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/urban-native-youth-association/

Feministsdeliver website: https://feministsdeliver.com/give-to-two-spirit-peoples-indigenous-women-and-girls/

GayGuideNetwork website: https://thegayguidenetwork.com/two-spirit-canadian-lgbtq-nation/

Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance’s website: http://w2sa.ca/