Two Spirit Persons
Transgender Activist Michelle A. Enfield explains the evolution and history of this traditional—and revolutionary—concept
Western Civilization seems to be hung up on binary thinking–happy versus sad, good versus bad, black versus white. And, of course, male versus female.
In other cultures, however, these divisions are not so rigid. Michelle A. Enfield, a transgender woman and an HIV prevention specialist at the Red Circle Project, has experienced both the intolerance of the West and the inclusiveness of Native American cultures.
Born on the Navaho reservation in Fort Defiance Arizona, she is a member of the Navajo Nation. From her earliest years, she felt different, wanting to be a girl and do all the things girls did, although she was anatomically a boy. Teased and tormented at school, she received the support of her family through those difficult years, until as a sophomore in high school, she saw a television talk show program featuring a beautiful transgender woman. Finally, she know who she was. In 1997, she legally changed her name and began hormone replacement therapy.
Why did her family support her? Love is one powerful answer. Traditional Navaho culture is another. Enfield’s family were helped to understand her by the Navaho belief that LGBT persons have important, healing energies. Many Native American cultures share the perception that LGBT persons bring spiritual and practical benefits to their community. At our June meeting, Enfield will describe the history and evolution of these beliefs.
Michelle Enfield is presently an HIV prevention training specialist with the Red Circle Project, an affiliate of AIDS Project Los Angeles. The Red Circle Project (RCP) at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) is the only HIV Prevention Program in Los Angeles County that specifically provides services to the Native American /Alaska Native Community. RCP provides culturally competent HIV/AIDS resources, referrals; group level interventions for Native Gay/Two Spirit men and Native transgender individuals; and mobile HIV testing to urban Native community at outreach events such as powwows and cultural events.
It will be another magical day of sun, fun, music, and community.
Saturday June 8, noon – sunset
Barnsdall Art Park (Hollywood Blvd just west of Vermont Ave)
- DJs all day long
- good stuff for kids
- games for everyone
- tables for community organizations
- a gorgeous public green space with a view of the hills, the Hollywood sign and the Observatory
- Tarot readings by the witchy super-smartness of Tarotscopes by MW
- Storytime for kids of all ages with the powerful performance presence of David LeBarron at 1:30!
Bring a blanket and a picnic and chill out all afternoon with us! Do not forget the sunscreen.
Dyke Day L.A. is a non-profit day in the park for all self-identified dykes and their allies, including queer families, trans folks, and queers of all ages. The mission of Dyke Day L.A. is to create an inclusive space that brings together the past, present, and future of our east side Los Angeles community. We aim to create a space for folks of all backgrounds to connect with each other and with community organizations in celebration of our eclectic queer family!
Dyke Day is an intentionally inclusive space: all genders, ages, and abilities welcome (acessibility requires a vehicle to the top of the hill where Dyke Day takes place; that main lawn area of the park is accessible.)