The Historical Context Of The Indigenous Trans Woman (Speech Presentation Sample)
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I would like to introduce to you the little known indigenous trans women in Anishinaabe society, who originally came from Turtle Island. The trans women are unique individuals with different beliefs and cultural practices that seem to be queer. According to the Anishnaabe culture, two-spirited individuals are acceptable because it means being holy, however, according to the western culture, being a two-spirited person is referred to as queer.
Contemporary indigenous artists from Canada have increasingly used popular genres like poetry as a new medium to claim their indigenous spaces. Through poetry, indigenous artists present complex realities in order to assert indigenous cultural sovereignty. Gwen Benaway is one of the First Nations poets and is an Anishinaabe who published books and poems to push for social boundaries, exploring new landscapes and also humanizing her experience of being an indigenous Trans woman (Benaway 6).
The historical context of the Indigenous trans woman
According to history, indigenous trans women have always played an important role among the Anishinaabe, they represent a natural and sacred role of indigenous womanhood. The indigenous womanhood has been devalued by the westerners who visited the indigenous traditional lands. The westerners have failed to understand the importance of integrating of indigenous trans women into the society which seems to be something normal for the Anishinaabe (Reder 488). There are traditional legends about the trans women and their ceremonial role, unlike other traditions, trans women are not discriminated by their own society members; instead, they are valued like ci-gender indigenous women (Reder 491).
The words, Two-spirit or two-spirited and trans women have become widely misunderstood concepts in the modern times. Although these terms are used by the indigenous population to define certain individuals in their communities, who play significant ceremonial roles, western kinds of literature often mistake these terms. They often use the term trans to describe lesbians and gays (Reder 493). The idea and the identity of two spirited individuals cannot be understood unless it is contextualized within the First Nations framework in order to understand their traditional practices and norms (Reder 498).
According to the western description, the term trans is used as an umbrella term to describe those who do not fit into the common categories of either being a male or a female. Several pieces of literature use the term trans to define someone's gender identity which is not compatible with the "assigned gender"(Reder 499). According to the Anishinaabe society, there is the diverse spectrum of gender identity that cannot be described by one term. The word trans has a variety of roles among the Anishinaabe society.
Trans women are community caretakers, negotiators, orators an even community planner. They are equally valued within their communities as romantic partners. The misconception about the terms and the role played by indigenous trans women has prompted indigenous artists including Gwen Benaway to adopt new forms of expression and develop a new indigenous movement geared towards correcting the misconceptions of trans women (Benaway 9). The idea of decolonization of love among the indigenous population is about reclaiming land and the body, which is an original thought by author Junot Diaz who describes decolonization of love as the only kind of love that can liberate people from colonial violence (Benaway 13).
Junot Diaz is one of the many writers that have highlighted the plight of indigenous trans women by introducing the concept of decolonial love. In one of his many speeches Diaz states that “if we cannot c...
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