Following on the success of the “Our Families” video series, work has begun on producing a “Two Spirits” video featuring LGBT Native Americans.
The term Two Spirit is a phrase developed by Native American communities that can be applied to LGBT Native Americans. Use of the term generally carries a tradition of respect and reverence to the role of LGBT individuals within Native American communities prior to colonization. Many LGBT Native Americans identify as Two-Spirit.
This past weekend, Basic Rights Oregon’s Racial Justice team held our first planning meeting for the Two Spirit Our Families video. Five Native people, most of whom also self-identify as Two Spirit/LGBT, joined our team to create the vision for this exciting project.
“I think it’s important to collect and spread this history [about Two Spirit people] which has been denied to me and others, said team member Peter Dakota Molof…[Many people said] “grow up not talking about it and not hearing about it. It’s important to keep this history alive.”
For many Two Spirit people, seeing their stories and their families portrayed is a rarity, even within LGBT media and Native American media.
“As a Native community we’re not always well known,”said Michele Pinkham, another video team member. “This [video] is a good way to be heard, not just as the Native community but also to bring awareness to our Two Spirit community.”
The Two Spirit video team will be responsible for ensuring their collective vision is carried out during film production over the next eight to nine months. During this first day-long meeting, the team decided on the major story arcs, the broad themes, and basic casting criteria they would use. The Two Spirit Our Families video is anticipated to debut in late fall of 2012.
This Two Spirit video will be the fourth in a series of videos that focus on the trials and triumphs of LGBT families of color. The previous Our Families videos are available to view online at this link. They have been screened at coalition events in Portland, Salem, and Eugen and plans are underway to share these stories with other audiences across the state this year.
If you are interested in getting more involved in the Racial Justice Program or would like to have the videos screened in your community, please contact us at: http://www.basicrights.org/resources/ourfamilies-resources/get-involved-with-our-families/