In Cherokee Asegi udanto refers to people who either fall outside of men's and women's roles or who mix men's and women's roles. Asegi, which translates as "strange," is also used by some Cherokees as a term similar to "queer." For author Qwo-Li Driskill, asegi provides a means by which to reread Cherokee history in order to listen for those stories rendered "strange" by colonial heteropatriarchy. As the first full-length work of scholarship to develop a tribally specific Indigenous Queer or Two-Spirit critique, Asegi Stories examines gender and sexuality in Cherokee cultural memory, how they shape the present, and how they can influence the future. The theoretical and methodological underpinnings of Asegi Stories derive from activist, artistic, and intellectual genealogies, referred to as "dissent lines" by Maori scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith. Driskill intertwines Cherokee and other Indigenous traditions, women of color feminisms, grassroots activisms, queer and Trans studies and politics, rhetoric, Native studies, and decolonial politics. Drawing from oral histories and archival documents in order to articulate Cherokee-centered Two-Spirit critiques, Driskill contributes to the larger intertribal movements for social justice.
In 1970 the Nixon administration inaugurated a new era in federal Indian policy. No more would the U.S. government seek to deny and displace Native peoples or dismantle Native governments; from now on federal policy would promote "the Indian's sense of autonomy without threatening his sense of community." In The Erotics of Sovereignty, Mark Rifkin offers a telling perspective on what such a policy of self-determination has meant and looks at how contemporary queer Native writers use representations of sensation to challenge official U.S. accounts of Native identity. Rifkin focuses on four Native writers -- Qwo-Li Driskill (Cherokee), Deborah Miranda (Esselen), Greg Sarris (Graton Rachería), and Chrystos (Menominee) -- approaching their fiction and poetry as forms of political theory. Rifkin shows how the work of these queer or two-spirit Native writers affirms the significance of the erotic as an exercise of individual and community sovereignty. In this way, we come to see how their work contests the homophobic, sexist, and exclusivist policies and attitudes of tribal communities as well as those of the nation-state.
"This book is an imagining." So begins this collection examining critical, Indigenous-centered approaches to understanding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (GLBTQ2) lives and communities and the creative implications of queer theory in Native studies. This book is not so much a manifesto as it is a dialogue -- a "writing in conversation" -- among a luminous group of scholar-activists revisiting the history of gay and lesbian studies in Indigenous communities while forging a path for Indigenouscentered theories and methodologies. The bold opening to Queer Indigenous Studies invites new dialogues in Native American and Indigenous studies about the directions and implications of queer Indigenous studies. The collection notably engages Indigenous GLBTQ2 movements as alliances that also call for allies beyond their bounds, which the co-editors and contributors model by crossing their varied identities, including Native, trans, straight, non-Native, feminist, Two-Spirit, mixed blood, and queer, to name just a few.
We are all caught up in one another, Scott Lauria Morgensen asserts, we who live in settler societies, and our interrelationships inform all that these societies touch. Native people live in relation to all non-Natives amid the ongoing power relations of settler colonialism, despite never losing inherent claims to sovereignty as indigenous peoples. Explaining how relational distinctions of "Native" and "settler" define the status of being "queer," Spaces between Us argues that modern queer subjects emerged among Natives and non-Natives by engaging the meaningful difference indigeneity makes within a settler society. Morgensen's analysis exposes white settler colonialism as a primary condition for the development of modern queer politics in the United States. Bringing together historical and ethnographic cases, he shows how U.S. queer projects became non-Native and normatively white by comparatively examining the historical activism and critical theory of Native queer and Two-Spirit people. Presenting a "biopolitics of settler colonialism" -- in which the imagined disappearance of indigeneity and sustained subjugation of all racialized peoples ensures a progressive future for white settlers -- Spaces between Us newly demonstrates the interdependence of nation, race, gender, and sexuality and offers opportunities for resistance in the United States.
The Two-Spirit man occupies a singular place in Native American culture, balancing the male and the female spirit even as he tries to blend gay and Native identity. The accompanying ambiguities of gender and culture come into vivid relief in the powerful and poignant Becoming Two-Spirit, the first book to take an in-depth look at contemporary American Indian gender diversity. Drawing on a wealth of observations from interviews, oral histories, and meetings and ceremonies, Brian Joseph Gilley provides an intimate view of how Two-Spirit men in Colorado and Oklahoma struggle to redefine themselves and their communities. The Two-Spirit men who appear in Gilley's book speak frankly of homophobia within their communities, a persistent prejudice that is largely misunderstood or misrepresented by outsiders. Gilley gives detailed accounts of the ways in which these men modify gay and Native identity as a means of dealing with their alienation from tribal communities and families. With these compromises, he suggests, they construct an identity that challenges their alienation while at the same time situating themselves within contemporary notions of American Indian identity. He also shows how their creativity is reflected in the communities they build with one another, the development of their own social practices, and a national network of individuals linked in their search for self and social acceptance.
This beautiful and devastating book -- part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir -- should be required reading for anyone seeking to learn about California Indian history, past and present. Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.
One Bead at a Time is the oral memoir of Beverly Little Thunder, a two-spirit Lakota Elder from Standing Rock, who has lived most of her life in service to Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in vast areas of both the United States and Canada. Transcribed and edited by two-spirit writer Sharron Proulx-Turner, Little Thunder's narrative is told verbatim, her melodious voice and keen sense of humour almost audible overtop of the text on the page. Early in her story, Little Thunder recounts a dream from her early adulthood, "I stared at these lily pads for the longest time and I decided that there was one part of the pond that had lots of lily pads and no frogs. I said, 'I want to go there because there's lots of lily pads but no frogs and I like creating community.'" And create community she does. Little Thunder established the first and today, the only all-women's Sundance in the world, securing a land base in the Green Mountains of Vermont for future generations of Indigenous women's ceremony. She was active in the A.I.M. movement and she continues to practice and promote political and spiritual awareness for Indigenous women around the world. A truly remarkable visionary.
A bold and breathtaking anthology of queer Indigenous speculative fiction, edited by the author of Jonny Appleseed. This exciting and groundbreaking fiction collection showcases a number of new and emerging 2SQ (Two-Spirit and queer) Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island. These visionary authors show how queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives that detail the vivacity and strength of 2SQness throughout its plight in the maw of settler colonialism's histories. Here, readers will discover bioengineered AI rats, transplanted trees in space, the rise of a 2SQ resistance camp, a primer on how to survive Indigiqueerly, virtual reality applications, mother ships at sea, and the very bending of space-time continuums queered through NDN time. Love after the End demonstrates the imaginatively queer Two-Spirit futurisms we have all been dreaming of since 1492. Contributors include Nathan Adler, Darcie Little Badger, Gabriel Castilloux Calderon, Adam Garnet Jones, Mari Kurisato, Kai Minosh Pyle, David Alexander Robertson, jaye simpson, and Nazbah Tom.
'You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine' is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishises himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the 'rez,' and his former life, to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The next seven days are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages - and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.
One of Canada’s most celebrated authors and playwrights, Highway mixes humor with difficult subjects in his work ranging from Kiss of the Fur Queen, a coming-of-age novel that follows two Cree boys through residential school to adulthood, to The Rez Sisters, which is full of laughter as well as revelations about life. His essays have also featured in the collections Me Funny and Me Sexy, where he argues that his native language, Cree, is both the funniest and sexiest of all languages. (-Kai Minosh, BGDBlog)
Feed is the fourth book in the Teebs tetralogy. It's an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York's High Line park, with the lines, stanzas, paragraphs, dialogue, and registers approximating the park's cultivated gardens of wildness. Among its questions, Feed asks what's the difference between being alone and being lonely? Can you ever really be friends with an ex? How do you make perfect mac & cheese? Feed is an ode of reconciliation to the wild inconsistencies of a northeast spring, a frustrating season of back-and-forth, of thaw and blizzard, but with a faith that even amidst the mess, it knows where it's going.
Telling the truth is powerful medicine. It is a fire that lights the way for others. When we speak our "Fire Power", we join a long & honored line of warriors against injustice. Each of us is born with innate power & purpose, a sacred direction for which we have been created. Our task is to find the place where we belong & do our work there.
"i am one of those hopeless romantics who wants every blowjob to be transformative." Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut poetry collection, This Wound Is a World, is "a prayer against breaking," writes trans Anishinaabe and Métis poet Gwen Benaway. "By way of an expansive poetic grace, Belcourt merges a soft beauty with the hardness of colonization to shape a love song that dances Indigenous bodies back into being. This book is what we've been waiting for." Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound Is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky / to world inside." Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder their sadness and pain without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where "everyone is at least a little gay." Presented here with several additional poems, this prize-winning collection pursues fresh directions for queer and decolonial theory as it opens uncharted paths for Indigenous poetry in North America. It is theory that sings, poetry that marshals experience in the service of a larger critique of the coloniality of the present and the tyranny of sexual and racial norms.
With a refreshing spin, the plays touch on topics of desire, identity, and community as they humorously tackle the colonial misunderstandings of Indigenous people. From a female trickster story centred on erotic lesbian tales to the farcical story about a new nation of Indigenous people called the Nation of Mischief, this collection creates a space to explore what it means to be queer and Indigenous.
Two-Spirit people, identified by many different tribally specific names and standings within their communities, have been living, loving, and creating art since time immemorial. It wasn't until the 1970s, however, that contemporary queer Native literature gained any public notice. Even now, only a handful of books address it specifically, most notably the 1988 collection Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology. Since that book's publication twenty-three years ago, there has not been another collection published that focuses explicitly on the writing and art of Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer people. This landmark collection strives to reflect the complexity of identities within Native Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two-Spirit (GLBTQ2) communities. Gathering together the work of established writers and talented new voices, this anthology spans genres (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and essay) and themes (memory, history, sexuality, indigeneity, friendship, family, love, and loss) and represents a watershed moment in Native American and Indigenous literatures, Queer studies, and the intersections between the two. Collaboratively, the pieces in Sovereign Erotics demonstrate not only the radical diversity among the voices of today's Indigenous GLBTQ2 writers but also the beauty, strength, and resilience of Indigenous GLBTQ2 people in the twenty-first century. Contributors: Indira Allegra, Louise Esme Cruz, Paula Gunn Allen, Qwo-Li Driskill, Laura Furlan, Janice Gould, Carrie House, Daniel Heath Justice, Maurice Kenny, Michael Koby, M. Carmen Lane, Jaynie Lara, Chip Livingston, Luna Maia, Janet McAdams, Deborah Miranda, Daniel David Moses, D. M. O'Brien, Malea Powell, Cheryl Savageau, Kim Shuck, Sarah Tsigeyu Sharp, James Thomas Stevens, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, William Raymond Taylor, Joel Waters, and Craig Womack