@ white people who think wearing eagle feather headdresses is just a costume and doesn’t offend natives, I was at a powwow yesterday and one of the dancer’s who was a war veteran accidentally dropped an eagle feather while dancing and we had to stop the entire powwow, the head man and some other elders had to stop and pray over the feather before picking it up. The guy who dropped the father gave a speech, while almost in tears, about how sorry he was to have dropped the feather and how it represented the choices he had to make in combat and the lives of people that were taken, and he ended up passing the feather on to another young dancer instead of keeping it because he felt so ashamed. This is how much eagle feathers mean to a lot of our nations, and that’s how important it is to native veterans. Wearing eagle feathers as a costume or without having to go through combat is disgusting and you ARE offending our traditions and values. Stop. You cannot understand the importance of our customs and you do not deserve to wear eagle feathers.
I feel it is extremely important to know about the people in our community who came before us. Throughout history trans people have made history by acting as activists, advocates, and just by being themselves in a world at that against them. This list is by no means complete but the point is to highlight some of the trans people who have made history for our community.
1) Frances Thompson: Frances was most likely the
first trans person to testify before a congressional committee in the US. In
1866 she was a victim of the Memphis Riot. The riot occurred when a group of
white men went into a neighbourhood where former slaves, such as Frances,
lived. They burned buildings and attacked the former slaves. It was on this
matter that she testified before the committee. Ten years later she was
arrested for “transvestism.”
2) Lucy Hicks Anderson: Lucy was born in 1886 and began living as a woman a young age. She was first married in 1929 and then attempted to get married again in 1944.However, in 1944 her marriage was denied and she was accused of perjury for saying that she was a woman. After then she became one of the first fighters for marriage equality in America.
3) Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson: Marsha is most
known for being one of the leaders at the Stonewall Riot in 1969 however her
involvement in the LGBT community stretches beyond that. She was the co-founder
of S.T.A.R. which provided support and resources for homeless trans youth. She
was also heavily involved in the Gay Liberation Front. She fought for LGBT
rights and for people living with HIV and AIDS. She supported the community until her life was cut short in 1992 under suspicious circumstances.
4) Sylvia Rivera: Sylvia was also one of the
leaders at the Stonewall Riots. At only seventeen years old she co-founded S.T.A.R.
She was also a founder of the Gay Liberation Front. She spent a lot of time
advocating for trans people, drag queens, and other people who were not included
in the mainstream gay rights movement including fighting against the exclusion
of transgender people from the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New
York. She was an advocate for the community until her death in 2002.
5) Miss Major Griffin-Gracy: Miss Major was another
leader at the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the community in New York at the
time. In the late 1970s she moved to San Diego and started grassroots movements
such as working with a food bank to serve trans women who were incarcerated,
struggling with addiction, or were homeless. During the AIDS epidemic she
provided people with healthcare and organized funerals often one or more a week. In 1990 she moved to
the San Francisco area where she worked with many HIV/AIDs organizations. In
2003 she began working at the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice
Project where she works to help transgender women who have been imprisoned. She
continues to work as an activist to this day.
6) Hiromasa Ando: Hiromasa was a professional
speedboat racer in Japan and publically transitioned when he was given
permission to start competing as a male in 2002 becoming the first openly trans
person in the sport. He also is one of the first openly trans athletes in the world.
7) Aya Kamikawa: In 2003 Aya made history when she
became the first openly transgender person to be elected into office in Japan. She has also worked for the LGBT community both as a politician and before as a committee member for Trans-Net Japan.
8) Trudie Jackson: Trudie Jackson is a long-time
activist for the LGBT and Native American Communities. She has worked with the ASU Rainbow Coalition, the
Native American Student Organization, The National LGBTQ Task Force, and the Southwest
American Indian Rainbow Gathering. She has been the recipient of numerous
awards including the Equality Arizona Skip Schrader Spirit of Activism Award, one
of the 2013 Trans 100, and Echo Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year. She is a
huge advocate for the Native American trans community.
9) Kim Coco Iwamoto: When elected to the Hawaiian
Board of Education in 2006 she held the highest office of any openly trans
person in America. She served two terms on the Board of Education and is now a
commissioner on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.
10) Diego Sanchez: Sanchez was the first openly
trans person to hold a senior congressional staff position on Capitol Hill in
America when he was appointed by Barney Frank in 2008.
11) Kylar Broadas: Broadas is an attorney,
professor, and the first openly trans person to testify in front of the U.S.
Supreme Court when he spoke in support for the Employment Non-Discrimination
Act in 2012. In 2010 he founded the Trans People of Color Coalition.
12) Isis King: She became the first openly trans
person to be on America’s Next Top Model in 2008. Her openess and involvement in the show and involvement in the show attracted a lot of both negative and positive attention. She has continued to work as a model, role-model, and advocate for transgender people.
13) Blake Brockington: Blake first made headlines
when he became the first openly transgender high school homecoming king in
North Carolina. He was also an activist for the LGBT community, transgender youth and fought against police brutality. Sadly, Brockington lost his life at the
age of 18 in 2015 after committing suicide.
14) Diane Marie Rodriguez Zambrano: She has been a
human rights and LGBT rights activist in Ecuador for many years. In 2009 she
sued the Civil Registry to change her name and set precedent for other trans
people to be able to change their names. In 2013 she became the first openly
trans person, or LGBT person, in Ecuador to run for office.
15) Ruby Corado: She is an activist born in El
Salvador but living in America. She was involved in the Coalition to Clarify
the D.C. Human Rights Act which was changed the act to include gender identity
and expression. In 2012 she opened Casa Ruby which is the only bilingual and
multicultural LGBT organization in Washington, D.C. She has been working for
human rights for over 20 years.
The march, as noted on the Stand with Standing Rock website, is being planned by the Native Nations Rise Planning Committee.
The organizers leading the charge, the website notes, are members of “Tribal Nations and grassroots Indigenous communities rising to the call set forth by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to defend our inherent rights to protect Unci Maka and our water: Mni Wiconi.
Though the protest is born out of the Standing Rock movement and fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Friday’s protest is a broader call for the tribal rights. Read more (3/6/17 10:50 AM)
National Aboriginal Day is on June 21st. If it doesn’t coincide with another event (I remember a few years back that it did with BlackOut, but was worked around), I think we should celebrate. If you’re Aboriginal / Indigenous, upload your selfies, post art, talk about Aboriginal characters that you know and love, talk about books and films made by and for Indigenous people. We are still here but we are individually unique and have our own experiences and stories to tell.
Use #HappyAboriginalDay and spread the word.
EDIT: The date for BlackOut is June 6th. We’re in the clear!
This post has gained a lot of attention over the last couple of days! Thank you to everybody who has shared and reblogged it. I want to take a moment to address a question that keeps popping up: if you are indigenous/aboriginal, you can participate if you choose to! This is not limited just to Native American / First Nations people. If you are Ainu, Maori, Saami, native Hawaiian, etc, feel free to participate! It’s great opportunity for us to represent ourselves, our cultures, our lives, our heroes, and celebrate both our differences and similarities.
I can’t wait to see you all on June 21st! Keep boosting this post and don’t forget to use the #HappyAboriginalDay tag!
•support dark skinned natives
•support light skinned natives
•support white passing natives
•support natives whose first languages are their tribal languages
•support natives who cannot speak their tribal language
•support native children who have to teach themselves about their tribal culture
•support natives living on reservations
•support native kids who get asked if their parents live on a reservation
•support native kids who are taught to be embarrassed and ashamed of their heritage
•support métis people who might not know their heritage
•support métis people who aren’t native passing
•support native people who stick to traditional hair and dress styles
•support natives who practice their tribal religion
•support natives who follow mainstream fashion
•support natives who are told they’re “too Indian”
•support natives who are told they’re “not Indian enough”
•but above all, listen to what we have to say about our cultures, our histories, our future, our issues and our people.
“YOU DON’T LOOK NATIVE” - is something that bothers me greatly. I see it happen all the time, especially to Natives in the US & Canada.
Telling any Native person that they aren’t Native because they don’t fit your superficial stereotype is RACIST! Every single person pictured above is a NATIVE.
This is something that all non-Natives need to understand, there is no “Native look”.
- Not all Native women look like Disney’s “Pocahontas”.
- Not all Native men look like a Plains NDN with long flowing hair.
- Not all Natives have high cheekbones.
- Not all Natives have black straight hair. Some have brown hair, some have curly hair, some have light hair and so on.
- Yes Native men CAN grow beards and have facial hair.
- Not all Natives have brown eyes. Some have blue eyes, some have grey eyes, some have green eyes and some have hazel eyes.
- There are tall Natives and there are short Natives.
- There are dark skinned Natives, light skinned Natives and pale skinned Natives.
We all know the rules of The Bechdel Test. In recent years, fans of more feminist-friendly films have included their own character tests, like The Mako Mori Test, The Furiosa Test, The Sexy Lamp Test, the list goes on. While these are all helpful (though comical) tools feminists have used to criticize media narratives, very few of them seem to empower or apply when viewing Indigenous and Aboriginal women in media narratives / storytelling.
As a Native woman, I’ve experienced disappointment and heartache from the way Native women were represented on film, television, cartoons, and other forms of media. From stereotypical “Indian princesses” to the distressing amount of physical and sexual violence in live action period pieces, it felt that a Native woman was not a character you were meant to love and root for. She was never a character you were supposed to relate to or want to be. In almost every role she’s in, she cannot exist without being a prop for another character’s story, and if she has a “happy ending,” it’s usually in the arms of a white colonist or settler.
I’ve created the Aila Test to bring my own concerns to the table when feminists criticize media. Not only should these issues be analyzed and addressed, but content creators who write about Indigenous / Aboriginal women should consider writing characters who pass this test. We need them now, more than ever.
To pass the Aila Test, your film / animation / comic book / novel / etc, must abide by these three important rules:
1. Is she an Indigenous / Aboriginal woman who is a main character…
2. Who DOES NOT fall in love with a white man…
3. And DOES NOT end up raped or murdered at any point in the story.
Do you know characters that pass the Aila Test? Please submit them to this page!
If you just found out you have First Nations / Native American ancestry and you’re trying to find your way back, learning, and standing with us I want you to know I’m rooting super hard for you. You’re doing a good job and I’m proud of you.
If you’re claiming our ancestry for college applications, benefits, to be a “native princess”, wear war paint, war bonnets, feathers in your hair etc, or to tell people it’s okay to do any of the above, please go away. We are not your discount code to North America.
Native Girls are beautiful.
Native Boys are beautiful.
First Nations Girls are beautiful.
First Nations Boys are beautiful.
Indigenous Girls are beautiful.
Indigenous Boys are beautiful.
Aboriginal Girls are beautiful.
Aboriginal Boys are beautiful.
Inuit Girls are beautiful.
Inuit Boys are beautiful.
Métis Girls are beautiful.
Métis Boys are beautiful.
Aleut Girls are beautiful.
Aleut Boys are beautiful.
Afro-Indigenous Girls are beautiful.
Afro-Indigenous Boys are beautiful.
Mi'kmaq girls are beautiful.
Mi'kmaq boys are beautiful.
Two-Spirit Girls are beautiful.
Two-Spirit Boys are beautiful.
You’re beautiful if you have dark skin.
You’re beautiful if you have light skin.
You’re beautiful if you’re in between.
You’re beautiful if you’re mixed.
You’re beautiful if you fit the Western Gender Binary.
You’re beautiful if you’re don’t fit the Western Gender Binary.
You’re beautiful if you’re multiple genders. You’re beautiful.
(Aboriginal, Inuit, and Métis lines added by @phaedragona. Two-Spirit lines added by many people. Afro-Indigenous and Mixed lines added by @condorofrph. Aleut lines added by anonymous. Mi'kmaq lines added by @kennachaos . Correction on gender lines by @doyoumisterjones . If there’s anyone I’ve left out, feel free to add on to it and/or message me and I’ll change the original post.
Anyways First Nations and Native American wlw are amazing!!
First Nations and Native American mlm are amazing!
Trans First Nations and Native Americans are amazing!!
All LGBTQ+ First Nations and Native Americans are beautiful and amazing and I love them all!!
I didn’t know, did you know®…
Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American woman physician in the US, was born today in 1865! She founded the Picotte Memorial Hospital, which was built in 1913. The hospital, located on the Omaha Reservation, was the first hospital for a Native American reservation not funded by the US government. #HappyBirthday