I dealt with discrimination by non-Indigenous people and bullying by some members of my own community We’re Back Witches Hocus Pocus Witches Halloween shirt . But I found refuge at powwows, where I was celebrated for who I was. Even today, when I hear the drums and singing coming from a powwow, I want to run toward the noise and dance in the beautiful, healing energy. Later in life, I sought out that same energy in the queer community.In 2017, I moved to Toronto. At that time, I was trying to understand what it meant to be gay, non-binary and Two-Spirit, but I was still figuring out how I identified.
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I met a mentor who gifted me the phrase “My queerness is traditional We’re Back Witches Hocus Pocus Witches Halloween shirt .” They told me, “Whenever you’re feeling in doubt about your queerness, or when someone tells you to separate your queerness from your Indigeneity, remember that you come from a bloodline of Two-Spirit people, of ancestors who had queerness within.”That year, Two-Spirit people led the Toronto Pride parade, and I walked with them. I was reminded of how I felt at the powwows, surrounded by my community. In that moment, at the intersection of my queerness and Indigenous identity, I knew that I was Two-Spirit. I didn’t “come out” in the traditional sense; rather, I came into myself as a Two-Spirit person.I always think of future generations of Two-Spirit people. I feel I have a role in my community to ensure that Two-Spirit youth don’t feel the need to sacrifice their Indigeneity or their queerness to achieve their dreams. As a stylist and the creative director of my genderless clothing label, Wabano, I’ve traded in my mom’s T-shirts for high fashion. Many of my designs are inspired by the Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer people I work with. My 2021 collection included a graphic shirt with the phrase that helped me embrace who I am: “My queerness is traditional.” I wanted to remind Two-Spirit people that these roles and identities have always been a part of our cultures. But the shirt is not just a piece of clothing; it features an affirmation that can be repeated whenever we need it.
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