On Monday, November 12th, 2012, Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) held the official premier of the Our Families “Native American LGBT Two Spirit” video to over 100 people at the Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA) in Portland, Oregon. This video focused on Two Spirit people and the trials and triumphs they have experienced as LGBT Native Americans. The term Two Spirit was developed by LGBT Native Americans as a way to reclaim traditional histories, in which LGBT people were often greatly respected for their tribal contributions. These histories were eradicated through colonialism, but have recently resurfaced. Many LGBT Native Americans identify as Two Spirit.
During this special screening and program, audience members watched the video and then heard directly from families who were featured in the film. Candi Brings Plenty-Wright, Amanda Brings Plenty-Wright, Jackie Cloud, Stephanie Tomaskin and Louie Tomaskin all participated in the panel and shared their experiences starring in the film.
For Basic Rights Oregon, this work represents an exciting and necessary extension of the Racial Justice and Alliance Building Program’s mission. “We were so excited to showcase these families and this work within the Native community,” said Kodey Park Bambino, the Racial Justice and Alliance Building Program Organizer. “It was a pleasure to work with NARA and we hope to continue that work in the future.” Similarly, NARA is also committed to keeping this work moving forward. “We were so excited to participate in this collaboration and we glad to support in any way we could! We hope to keep building this partnership in the future with BRO,” said Shane Lopez-Johnson, the NARA Youth Program Manager. NARA also generously donated the services of their traditional drumming circle, the space for the event, and coordinated their residential catering services to provide the food.
To view the previous series of Our Families videos, click this link.
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/
We believe all our families have so much in common: we struggle to put healthy food on the table, get our kids a good education, and to overcome the discrimination that keeps our families down. This is also true for LGBT families of color who face incredible struggles to keep their loved ones and themselves safe.
We believe our communities are strongest when all our families are honored and respected, so that we can thrive together.
It’s time to come out in support of all Our Families! Please join us!
If you would like to be part of Our Families, share your story, or learn more, contact us by clicking here!