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Be Proud to be OUT


In "Be Proud to be OUT: An Interview with Two of the Volunteers of NativeOUT," by Collestipher Chatto interviews NativeOUT volunteers, Terra Mathews-Hartwell (Tsimshian/Carrier) and Louva Hartwell (Diné). Both are students at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

Much of the conversation is framed around gay and lesbian experience. However, the initial segment about Mathews-Hartwell makes the following distinction:

She hasn’t experienced much discrimination here in Santa Fe and on-campus, probably, because her sexual orientation isn’t so obvious, she said, noting that effeminate men and masculine women experience the most discrimination. IAIA also has an anti-discrimination policy protecting people of a different sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Tsimshian culture, the term for a homosexual male is “nook.†Due to colonization and Western influence, she does not know much about the cultural roles of homosexuals and transgendered people in her tribes.

The article goes on to profile Hartwell as well, including her Navaho heritage,

In Diné (Navajo) culture, an effeminate man is called “nadlééh†which means “one who changes†and a masculine female is “dilbaa’,†Louva said. She explained that the Nadlééh people appear in the Diné creation story when men and women quarreled and separated. The nadlééh left with the men because of their domestic skills. Some have said that the nadlééh reunited men and women, but Louva said she is not sure about that. Nadlééh applies more to male-to-female transgendered individuals, or Two-Spirit, than to a homosexual male.

“Maybe, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation but to personality,†said Louva.

Read the full article on the IAIA Chronicle blog: "Be Proud to be OUT: An Interview with Two of the Volunteers of NativeOUT," by Collestipher Chatto


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