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Chrystos, a Native American LGBT leader

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Chrystos, a Native American LGBT leader

  1. 1. By Jennyfer Bourgoing Digital Media Class
  2. 2. Chrystos’s early life Background story  Born Chrystos Lieve Snellings on Nov 7,1946  She was raised in San Francisco, California  Her mom was depressed and her Menominee tribe father was ashamed of his heritage that he refused to speak in the native tongue.  Early on in life she was introduced to the harshness of the world when she was sexually abused by a relative.  As a young adult Chrystos fell into prostitution, alcoholism, and drugs. Full of confusion and self-hate she was trying to cope with everything.
  3. 3. • Full of angst and opinions she began to write intense poetry to release the pent up steam of thoughts. • In 1988 Chrysto’s first full book of poetry Not vanishing was published. • Her writing style very much influenced by the injustice her people, her gender, and her sexual orientation have suffered are full of anger seeking justice for the abused. • Her words often provoke reactions, and deep thoughts on society and the way we treat women, disenfranchised minority groups and modern subliminal warfare on the less fortunate. • Standing up , sometimes extravagantly , for what she believes in and for those who cannot. She writes critically on how she feels and what she sees.
  4. 4. Books by Christos
  5. 5. In American society, part of the discussion about marriage is really about sex. When we can. When not to. What gender to be with etc. While sex was a part of traditional Native American marriage, marriage was not about sex. Prior to marriage, young people were expected to engage in sexual activities in order to understand themselves and their environment better. Sex was not confined to marriage. One of the things that upset many of the early Christian missionaries was the fact that Indian women were allowed to express their sexuality and to choose their own sexual partners. How dare a women choose to be so “promiscuous” in her dealings with the world. In Native American culture it was a choice to engage in those activities not a requirement and it was not forbidden. It was the same freedom the men in their community had.
  6. 6. In conventional America there is a view that there are only two genders: male and female. Yet, in American Native cultures people did not make this an either/or situation. in the Native American society there is a third gender. Third gender, also known as Two-Spirit is displayed when the male and female spirit is in one body. People with these spirits take on roles dominated by the opposite sex; they still associate with the common roles dominated by their biological sex. In the tribe, the Two-Spirit people are highly respected and often honored in the Native American community. Two-Spirit people are considered a supernatural phenomenon
  7. 7. At least 135 Northern American tribes have been documented as integrating alternative gender roles. A complex sex/gender system was found “in every region of the continent, among every type of Native culture, from the small bands of hunters in Alaska to the populous, hierarchical city-states in Florida.” “Strange country this,” a white man wrote in 1850 about the Crow nation of North America, “where males assume the dress and perform the duties of females, while women turn men and mate with their own sex!” The term adopted in 1990 at an Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering is two-spirits. French missionary Joseph Francois Lafitau revealed that those Native peoples did not share his prejudice. “They believe they are honored. The community shares their belief.” he wrote in 1724
  8. 8. For the Native LGBT who seeks life in a city for anonymity, the experience can be far more negative than staying within their home community. Like most natives reared in a tribal community, Native LGBT retain pride in their identity, where they are from and who are their relatives. Living in a city can unfortunately give a sense of alienation that is both physical and emotional. Native LGBT individuals often grieve their separation from family and community when they are unaccepted in a city because of their lifestyle as well as being a Native. This experience results in a double discrimination for Native LGBT instead of the desired anonymity. Which explains why Christos was in so much pain growing up in a diverse, but identity ashamed household.
  9. 9. in 1975, just a few years after the Stonewall riots in New York, Barbara Cameron co- founded Gay American Indians with activist Randy Burns. Shortly after, Chrystos became acquainted and then the best of friends with this benevolent guardian of gay culture. Cameron's refusal to be queer in one corner of her life, and native in another, is as radical and transformative now, as it was then. In an interview with The Gully, Chrystos, credits her with "giving me a sense of dignity about my place in the world, and my right to be in that place." "We not only must struggle with the racism and homophobia of straight white America, but must often struggle with the homophobia that exists within our third-world communities." Both fighting for FREEDOM to marry, have kids, and live with choices and options that were not chosen by anyone other than themselves. And most importantly to be able to be speak out about things they did not agree with.
  10. 10. Wikipedia Classified her As a famous lgbt women of color Sappho Award Of distinction 1995 Audre Lord International Poetry Competition 1994 Thetaskforce.com Honorable speaker Curve magazine article Cited by tons Of lesbians writers And bloggers
  11. 11. Today, gay and lesbian couples won their right to marry. Today, love wins. I hope Chrystos is smiling wherever she is lecturing today.
  12. 12. • Early life • literature • Protesting • poetry Christos • Native American notion of gender identity • Gay marriage legalized Two Spirit Marriage
  13. 13. Credits A to z American indian women wikipedia Lady of Labyrinth blog Daily Kos website NativeOUT Randy Burns Website Where "Something Catches": Work, Love, and Identity in Youth The Gully website The Whitehouse website Facts on File website

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