18 year old Alex Wilsonfrom the Oglala Sioux Lakota tribe may be young, but he finds his musical inspiration in such established artists as Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. His melodic pop/rock is backed by sub-bass organs, gospel choirs and waves of drums while his vocals carry a raw strength above the layered accompaniment. And these are just his demos! Alex sent us this track to check out and we’re excited to see what else this young artist continues to create.
According to areport from Colorlines, users with Native American names are being locked out of their accounts, with the social networking site demanding they prove their identities to regain access.
“We require people to provide the name they use in real life,” the social network says on its help page.“That way, you always know who you’re connecting with.”
In the case of Ogala Lakota Brown Eyes, Facebook even “changed his name to Lance Brown,” Lone Hill wrote, forcing a threat of a class-action lawsuit for the company to allow him to use his real name again.
We redefined words like bear, butch, otter, queen, and femme, and created new terms like drag queen, twink, and genderqueer. But just because the words like homosexual, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and asexual, have been created in the relatively recent past doesn’t mean they are anything new. Before we started using today’s terms, we were Winkte to the Ogala, A-go-kwe to the Chippewa, Ko’thlama to the Zuni, Machi to the Mapuchi, Tsecats to the Manghabei, Omasenge to the Ambo, and Achnutschik to the Konyaga across the continents. While none of these terms identically mirror their more modern counterparts, all refer to some aspect of or identity related to same-gender love, same-sex sex, or crossing genders.
You are normal. You are not a creation of the modern age. Your identity is not a “trend” or a “fad.” Almost every country has a recorded history of people whose identities and behaviors bear close resemblance to what we’d today call bisexuality, homosexuality, transgender identity, intersexuality, asexuality, and more. Remember: The way Western culture today has constructed gender and sexuality is not the way it’s always been. Many cultures, from Papua New Guinea to Peru, accepted male-male sex as a part of ritual or routine; some of these societies believed that the transmission of semen from one man to another would make the recipient stronger. In the past, we often didn’t need certain words for the same-sex attracted, those of nonbinary gender, and others who did not conform to cultural expectations of their biological sex or perceived gender because they were not as unusual as we might today assume they were.
Being so unique and powerful has sometimes made others afraid of us. They arrested and tortured and murdered us. We are still executed by governments and individuals today in societies where we were once accepted us as important and equal members of society. They now tell us that “homosexuality is un-African” and “there are no homosexuals in Iran.” You and we know that these defensive comments are not true, but they still hurt. So when others gave us names like queer and dyke, we reclaimed them. When they said we were recruiting children, we said “I’m here to recruit you!” When they put pink and black triangles on our uniforms in the concentration camps, we made them pride symbols.
Those who challenge our unapologetic presence in today’s cultures, who try to deprive us of our rights, who make us targets of violence, remain ignorant of the fact that they, not us, are the historical anomaly. For much of recorded history, persecuting individuals who transgressed their culture’s norms of gender and sexuality was frowned upon at worst and unheard of at best. Today, the people who continue to harass us attempt to justify their cruel campaigns by claiming that they are defending “traditional” values. But nothing could be further from the truth.
We redefined words like bear, butch, otter, queen and femme, and created new terms like drag queen, twink and genderqueer. But just because the words like homosexual, bisexual, transgender, intersex and asexual, have been created in the relatively recent past doesn’t mean they are anything new. Before we started using today’s terms, we were Winkte to the Ogala, A-go-kwe to the Chippewa, Ko'thlama to the Zuni, Machi to the Mapuchi, Tsecats to the Manghabei, Omasenge to the Ambo and Achnutschik to the Konyaga across the continents. While none of these terms identically mirror their more modern counterparts, all refer to some aspect of, or identity related to, same-gender love, same-sex sex or crossing genders.