As communities across the United States gather to recognize and honor Native American Heritage Month, we make space to center the lives and stories of LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit Native American people.
Before European colonization, there were often examples and representations of various sexual and gender identities and expressions among the indigenous people in the United States, and throughout the Americas. Now often referred to as Two-Spirit, this was an identity of an individual who was noted as having a blending or sharing of gender, or as a third and fourth gender.
It is up to each of us to educate ourselves and open the doors for LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit Native American people to be able show their pride and embrace their true and authentic selves. This means learning about and honoring their history, people, and events related to their intersectional identity as both LGBTQ+ and Native.
Resources for exploration:
- Erasure and Resilience: The Experiences of LGBTQ Students of Color, Native and Indigenous LGBTQ Youth in U.S. Schools