…We have done just that: we have put Two-Spiritedness in the front, for once, and in that leading position we will walk into the future, in whatever form it will take…– Joshua Whitehead, Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction
This post was written by Cameron Library ISS Eric Leonhardt, in anticipation of Campus Pride week (March 8-12, 2021). Author’s Note (Mar 26, 2021): This blog has been updated to better reflect Indigenous Two-Spirit authors.
On March 10th, Two Spirit Envisioning Futurisms Storytelling shares from a future rooted in Two Spirit identity, celebrating and challenging how we imagine the direction of history.
The event is centered around an anthology released in 2020 titled Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction (EPL link). The book is amazing, beautiful, I desperately want to live inside some of its stories (cyborg rats!), and it doesn’t stand alone. There are a growing number of Two Spirit creators whose voices can be heard across genre and platforms.
Their works are personal, joyful, sad, heartwarming, fictional, erotic, real, playful, angry, and more, but all come from identities and experiences that are often erased in historical and contemporary spaces. Even as personal truths and ideas are shared through stories, they recreate and resist assumptions about history, the world today and our future.
With that in mind, the following are a selection of stories as experienced and imagined by Two Spirit authors. All of them (where possible) are available online!
And for those wondering about the term Two Spirit, here is a blog post called Two Spirit: The Story of a Movement Unfolds that blends personal story and definition. It is by no means the only definition, and there are many Indigenous creators who do not use Two Spirit at all.
An eighteen minute video about the lives and experiences of three members of the Los Angeles Two Spirit Community.
A deep, insightful, and difficult combination of theory, storytelling, and history. Both fiction and fact, the author is an engaging voice on the nature of history and the stories we tell about it.
Ma-Nee Chacaby shares experiences across her whole life in an amazing piece of history and reflection. An emotional but uplifting read that resists bitterness in favour of healing, just as Ma-Nee Chacaby herself does.
An incredible anthology, even if we don’t have an electronic copy – you should still borrow it! It contains the writings of eleven authors, and absolutely deserves a read!
Sorry U of A users, this time you will need to go to EPL for the eBook! Arielle’s poetry uses silence and the spaces between lines to strengthen the emotional weight she shapes in them. Some of the subject matter is extremely poignant and traumatic, and it is highly recommended.
The UAL resources were selected so that you could access them right away, but barely start to cover the works and spaces created by the Two Spirit community. Below are some additional materials and individuals you should check out, and places for Two Spirit people looking to connect with local communities.
- Edmonton 2 Spirit Society and Facebook Page
- Where the Rivers Meet
- Great Videos and Music from 8 Indigenous LGBTIA and/or Two Spirit Musicians
- 12 Queer or 2 Spirit artists to celebrate on National Indigenous People’s Day
- Two-Spirit / Indigenous LGBTQ Books
- 10 Two-Spirit Authors You Should Be Reading
- EPL Picks: Two-Spirited Authors
- Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity: Two-Spirit Library Resources