For Native Americans, Pride Month is more than just a time to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ culture and history. It is an opportunity to learn more about our rich and diverse cultures, as well as a time to reflect. Despite making up nearly 3% of the U.S. population, Native Americans are often left out of the conversation when it comes to LGBTQ2S+ rights and representation. This June let’s change that!
Here are a few ways to celebrate Pride Month as a Native American:
- Educate yourself and others about Native American LGBTQ2S+ history. Many free resources exist through online databases and libraries. Reading Walking in Two Worlds: Supporting the Two Spirit and Native LGBTQ Community is a great place to start! (resource link listed on bottom of page)
- Seek out local events to show support. Tulsa Pride is the longest running Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride festival in Oklahoma and is held at downtown Tulsa every year.
- Support Native American LGBTQ2S+ organizations and businesses. Some examples include the Tulsa Two Spirit Society, Central Oklahoma Two-Spirit society, and organizations such as NativeOUT or the Treavor Project.
The term two spirit emerged in 1990 out of the third annual inter-tribal Native American/First Nations gay/lesbian American conference in Winnipeg. The term is used to describe indigenous people who fulfill mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native American tribes. Mixed gender roles have long been recognized among Native Americans as the presence of people who embody both masculine and feminine energy, known as Two Spirit people. Historically, two spirit people were often revered for their ability to connect with both worlds and were considered blessed with wisdom.
Its important to know that not all LGBTQ Native Americans identify as being Two-Spirited. Some Native people may only identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Additionally, not all Two-Spirited people identify as LGBTQ.
By taking pride in our culture and histories, we can create a more inclusive and just world for all Native Americans. Happy Pride Month!
Walking in Two Worlds:
The Trevor Project: