A Vision & Hope for the Queer Movement From a Two-Spirit Perspective

First and foremost, to have the Two-Spirit people restore to their right place of honor within their communities. It has been prophesied that there will be healing for our community ONLY when the two spirit people are brought back to the circle. As stated before, many two-spirit organizations are working to restore balance for our people!

It has always struck me odd – that a movement striving for equality (the mainstream LGBT movement) – has never given our traditions any real serious consideration. It is our hope that the LGBT movement would broaden its current euro-centric view of history. LGBT history usually only looks to the summer of 1969 as it is beginning. When the truth of the matter is we, two-spirit people, had important part of our communities for thousands years before that date! There was a time on this land when two-spirit people were accepted, honored, and celebrated full members of their community. We had a model of inclusion and true equality that (I think) would benefit LGBT movement if they would take the time truly understand it. It has always struck me as very odd (to say the least) that the LGBT community has never grappled with or serious examined this history. It is our belief that maintaining this invisibility – only benefits the people and their descendants of the foreign colonizers so they may live on this land guilt-free – and as long as we two-spirit people have air in our lungs – we stand as testament that this ABSOLUTELY incorrect.

Third, that the non-Native peoples to listen and learn for the Native and Two-Spirit community in a whole host of spheres such as Environmental, gender and our conception of community – and at the same time – non-Natives to listen and not colonize us. I seen so many times well intentioned non-Natives say that they completely understand what we are saying and then take over the process to speed it up – however, it is the process that we are MOST concerned with not outcome – if we arrive at an outcome without the entire community there – then it is not outcome worth having!

Fourth, diversity, diversity and more diversity. We Natives recognize difference and celebrate difference – just as in nature – it is diversity that has always the world to thrive and survive. Although, we today speak a good game of diversity – but in practice it is really a ‘melting-pot’ diversity – meaning holding the ideal of white-heterosexual males as the ideal! Diversity is acknowledging and honoring difference – there is always room at the table for everyone.

If the two-spirit community was included, then this points and this critic could be brought forth for our experiences as Native people and proud two-spirit people.

Harlan Pruden
Council Member
NorthEast Two-Spirit Society

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