There has been a lot of talk lately. Pro-Love protests at the U of R, however what happens when race comes into the picture of homosexuality?
Here’s what Ive been learning, my classmate Dakota gave a very interesting presentation about her family’s definitions of gender and how it supports her life. Being two-spirited and having a sister/brother has also contributed to the growth of her identity. But before that foundation was exposed, Dakota had developed a relationship with the LGBTQ community in Regina. Considering the personal nature of this story, I will just say that it was a short lived situation in which Dakota’s two-spiritedness conflicted with her Regina crew once they began tokenizing her at a younger age for being “Aboriginal”.
I also have a friend, Katryna Smith who is an heterosexual Honor’s Student at the FNUNIV, as of last week, she proposed her thesis to research the treatment of Two-Spirited youth in sports. She wishes to continue researching the current conditions of sports safety in regards to the field itself. She has found within the three months of her research that these youth are continuously bullied and their human rights are violated more than their self-declared heterosexual counterparts. The double standard of being Indigenous also plays the part. This violence comes out during activities the involve the field, training and the locker room. Katryna believes that proper supervision of such situations is needed to ensure the safety, especially for Two-spirited youth because the bullying can escalate to sexual harassment easily.
Both of these students had one thing in common; Identity. The faults of westernized and colonial culture have given favor to white, straight, blonde, tall and masculine men. It has also given power and permission to be passive, submissive female objects of the beauty industry and labels them as a household decorative appliance.
So what happens when people don’t fit into the hetero-normatives? They get ostracized, unless they were brought up in an accepting family, however they will go out into the world and be scapegoated because of their behavioral differences. With Two-Spiritedness there can be a women who is masculine and a man can be feminine, but they dont need to be homosexual, in fact they can be who or what ever they wish, its just a matter of roles and responsibilities within society that challenge this
As for myself, and why I wish to touch on this subject, is because I am Two-spirited. Many wouldn’t really believe me because Im not a “butch” or masculine in appearance kind of bisexual, but I’ll tell you- I fell in love with a girl in grade 10. I completely fell over a mountain in love with her, to the point where I was scared shitless. In Grade 12 I told her my friend loved her and wondered what she would do about it and that’s when I found out she was asexual. Few years later, I developed a weird relationship with a female who didn’t want to admit she was the way she was because people get kind of crazy about it, especially in Christianized-Lakota backgrounds apparently, trust me, don’t go there. Run, away, they are cute, but way not worth it. She broke my heart and convinced me females are just as bad as males. It’s all the same, I realised I was more likely to fall for someone’s spirit before their physical achievements or appearance. Talents are a huge thing as well, and cultural practices… You don’t have to be sexy, you just gottah be deadly and passionate at something. So before I get into my “plentyoffish” requirements like a loser, I want to emphasize the topic of culture.
Essentially in this time of research and understanding from Dakota and Katrynas’ experiences…… It is very difficult to culturally declare Two-Spiritedness. I have the knowledge that the elder’s I associate myself with, are welcoming to this gift, but what happens when elders reject the ideas and tell you the you’re not Two-spirited? It’s another form of internalized Eurocentric thinking. To be gifted means many things and today youth are unlikely to declare due to the pressures of this society, that deems straightness as normal.
A family member of mine denied it, and called me a “hasbien” for not kissing my best friend. To be “gay” or bisexual in someones’ eyes does not mean that I want to have sexual relations with every girl or man, that’s ridiculous. That is like calling me a “squaw” and assuming I am asking for “it”. Give it a break. Gross. Extreme comparison but the ideas of being radically homophobic are in line with being white privileged and racist. It’s all part of the narrative of Canada, regardless of how polite we are, we are commonly bitches with smiles on our faces.
To be a Two-spirited and Aboriginal, means Abnormal. How Can We Decolonize This?
We come up with strategies like these two ladies, and develop Two-Spirited safe environments for youth, to prevent the rates of suicide from going up in our communities. Also implementing the resources for such youth, to get involved with safe cultural spaces and ceremony, to participate comfortably without challenging their gifts.