Empowering a Movement for Fairness & Equality

 

To advocate & secure equal rights & protections for the Diné (Navajo) LGBTQ community & their families.

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If I want to keep inspiring, then why not do it at home? Just like my grandma Alice, she’s here inspiring people. As I look down at my forearms I have a tattoo of a diamond design my grandmother made famous waving Navajo rugs. On the other side of my arm is the scars reminding me every day that I am still here, that I have a purpose — all our Native LGBTQ+ youth are sacred beings. 

Founder, Celebrate Life  LGBTQ+Youth Initiative

Michelle Sherman

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Fighting for my rights & my identity has always come naturally to me. This is the reason why I want to help others find the courage to embrace their true selves & to be proud of being nádleehí.

Two-Spirit Youth Leader

Bry Cordell Smiley

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Before Europeans came, we were considered sacred people because we had strong medicine. Because we carried the spirit of both male and female, so we were very honored along with medicine people. That tradition has disappeared because it is so Christianized here.

Two-Spirit Leader & Drag Entertainer

Oriah Lee

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I am Diné first and foremost. I am of my people. A lot of our traditional teachings from precontact have been lost to westernization and Christianization. In our creation story, First Man and First Woman were at odds, causing men and women of the world to split into separate camps. The nádleehi were a third gender. It was the nádleehi who stayed with First Man, performing traditionally feminine tasks. They were essential in bridging the divide and bringing peace to the land.

Diné Transgender Advocate

Mattee Jim

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Diné teachings tell us that both sexes are important to the survival & perpetuation of our people. At one time, our people also acknowledged a third or multiple genders in our society— who are often called the nádleehí. The imposition of modern democracy has led to our loss of memory about the inclusion of women & our LGBTQ relatives in nation-building.

Chairwoman, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission

Dr. Jennifer Denetdale

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If Harvey Milk were here today, he would tell us the work is not done. In fact, we may be entering into one of the most critical times of our movement because we are facing the backlash of our success. And there is a human cost. We have been dealing with obituaries of young, LGBTQ+ kids who can’t see for themselves a positive future. They look forward & they see no place for them. Harvey Milk Boulevard must be a beacon of hope for them. It’s a street, it’s a symbol. But more than that, we, all of us, me, & you & you & you, we must be a positive beacon of hope to all kids, all marginalized youth. We must show them that there is a positive future.

Executive Director, Equality Utah

Troy Williams

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The Navajo people have a history of accepting LGBT individuals into traditional society. In the Navajo creation story, when men & women separated because of a domestic dispute, nádleeh served as caregivers to the men. Today, LGBT Navajos still serve similar functions in their families.

LGBTQ+ Advocate & former Chief of Staff, Navajo Nation

Sherrick Roanhorse

The Navajo Nation Council Chamber is the People's house and all are welcome here - including our gay, lesbian, transgender, and two-spirit family members. It is now time we review Navajo law to ensure it provides necessary LGBTQ+ protections, including the final repeal of the discriminatory Diné Marriage Act. Our citizens should have the right to choose who they love and be respected and accepted here within our great Nation.

- Speaker Seth Damon

 
 

© 2013 Coalition for Diné Equality. All Rights Reserved