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LGBTQ+ Youth

Brave Spaces, Gay-Straight Alliances & resources for Indigenous Youth

Suicide Prevention

Trans National Hotline +

the Trevor Project & other Prevention Resources

Sovereign Nations

Marriage Equality, Strengthening Sovereignty & organizing in Rural Communities




Empowering a Movement for Fairness & Equality




Alray Nelson
Diné Equality
Leader Organizer

Navajo Nation Pride
Executive Director 

Executive Director 

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) & the legality of Proposition 8, forever changing our country's position toward marriage equality. Today, same-sex couples are guaranteed the freedom to marry in 50 states. This, however, does not change tribal law & how Sovereign Nations recognize LGBTQ+ legal rights.


Diné Equality is guided by four visionary pillars: Sovereignty, Community, Family, & Traditional Knowledge. We believe in strengthening the sovereignty of our Nation while working with communities to advance LGBTQ+ equality. Our roles and presence strengthen our families while traditional knowledge reaffirms the sacredness of our identities. 


In 2005, the Navajo Nation Council passed the unjust Diné Marriage Act; a codified law of discrimination that divided our people & created deep community disharmony. We are now working to repeal this once & for all. We are now pushing forward LGBTQ+ tribal legislation that would impact Indian Country. 

Long before Stonewall, our Sovereign Nations revered & honored our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer & two-spirit family members. Diné teachings clearly share this history & affirm the sacred roles many of us continue to hold today.


We are resilient. Together with our families and through compassion, a greater Navajo Nation will come to be. 


Ahéheé for your support. Let's get to work.



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

We envision the Navajo Nation as a safe, supportive & inclusive home for our gay, lesbian, bisexual, two-spirit & transgender family members.




Michelle Sherman

Founder, Celebrate Life  LGBTQ+Youth Initiative

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. 


Bry Cordell Smiley

Two-Spirit Youth Leader

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.


Oriah Lee

Two-Spirit Leader & Drag Entertainer

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.


Mattee Jim

Diné Transgender Advocate

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.


Dr. Jennifer Denetdale

Chairwoman, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission

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.


Troy Williams

Executive Director, Equality Utah

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.

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Sherrick Roanhorse

LGBTQ+ Advocate & former Chief of Staff, Navajo Nation

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.

Navajo Nation Leadership


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


Eugenia Charles-Newton


24th Navajo Nation Council

In Navajo, we talk about the importance of kinship because it involves love, compassion, acceptance & respect for all living beings. K’è, as I understand, is critical to preserving & maintaining our way of life. We have denied the true identities of our LGBTQ+ relatives. It is time we embrace & accept our family members for who they are & restore k’è in the hope that we all live in harmony.


Charliane Tso


24th Navajo Nation Council

As one of only three women represented on the Navajo Nation Council, you will have me as a champion for our LGBTQ+ community members.  From our children to our grandparents, we are all connected. Our traditional teachings provide us guidance on how we approach difficult issues. LGBTQ+ equality means fairness & compassion for all our people, so they can be who they are - free from hatred & discrimination. 


Nathaniel Brown


24th Navajo Nation Council

Assaults are being perpetuated towards our LGBTQ community & it often goes unreported. Navajo leadership has not addressed this issue accordingly. These problems are real. It is now time that we treat our LGBTQ family members with respect & compassion. They are our relatives & Navajo law should reflect it. 



Our Partners
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Window Rock, Navajo Nation

Arizona 87301

(505) 236-4116

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