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Find Two-Spirit Community

by Niis Miou Tgac (Travis Angus)

[A broadly smiling person in a button blanket and woven cedar hat places a blanket on the shoulders of a grinning, green haired person, with a festival in the background]
[A broadly smiling person in a button blanket and woven cedar hat places a blanket on the shoulders of a grinning, green haired person, with a festival in the background]  

Growing up in a very small reserve, my community was ready to welcome the world but was not so welcoming to anyone of a homosexual nature. I went through many abuses, sexual, verbal, emotional, spiritual, and rape. Growing up with such trauma, along with the loss of all security, teaches you to survive any way that you can. It left me continuously allowing what was happening to me to continue, by my babysitters, relatives, randoms dragging me off the street. There was no safe space that would protect me from anyone. I felt hunted. For reasons of fear, I never told anyone. In this life, what I remember of my first attack was that I was five, and this continued until I turned fifteen. I can count over forty times that I recall, thinking that this is what love was. This was the reality of my early years.

Years following, I was in search of truly belonging, a strong sense that would allow me to be me. A young gay man that would find nothing more than being an experiment of curiosity to most, still leaving me empty and lonely. Continuing my path in life with education and a career, I stayed in the Northern District for fear of leaving what I was used to, but mostly to continuously gain respect from all those around me for the many things I do.

When I was twenty-five, I took a vacation to Vancouver. My best friend Cynthia took me to Davie Village, she was so wishing to share the world, a place I would be comfortable, with me. I came down for my first vacation ever. In the first week, I found a place to live, got myself into hairdressing school, and a job. I was set. I called home by the end of the second week to tell my parents and my boss that I was not going to return. It was the best decision I have ever made.

A few years later I found the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society. I became friends with my Drag Mother, Kayla Fox, who introduced me to the society. I was welcomed immediately. I was going to shows and events, sharing and getting ready together at the fabulous Sarah Blanket's home and diving into her closets for outfits to wear. It was then that I had accepted my two-spirit side and was able to bring my female persona out to the world, introducing Desree Knight Niss Miou.

This society, that seems to fill a huge emptiness in my life, had become my family. I created lifelong friendships with the members and supporters. I then introduced my friends and family to the society, connecting both my worlds. I had found in Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Two-Spirit Society a love that I can't explain. It wasn't the greatest at first, but I did make it my own and experienced how I wanted to. I still can't explain the love I have for this society, just that I believe in the union of all our nations to work together and share our culture with each other.

Having GVNCS, a love in my life, along with my Papa Al Houston, whom I have much gratitude for keeping me under his silver wing, I was able to accomplish and flourish in my life. I know there is a place for me, and I don't have to fight to belong. I became the 29th Elected Princess to GVNCS along with my Chief Vince Rexxx in 2007 when I felt I was ready to hold such a position. My wish was to take the society out of the bar scene and into the community, although I didn't complete my year. My Elder accepted me back when I was ready. I then was elected a second time as Princess 33 along with my Chief Andrew Deschamps in 2001, where my goals were set in motion once again to remove the society from the bar scene to build and gain the respect that I have for this society and the Elders that make up the council. Up to this day, we are now working with all communities, Nations, partnerships, and individuals with an open door to anyone wishing to share our experiences and family. With honor we celebrate the beginning of our 40th year of service to the communities, reuniting our Elders and long time supporters.

Today, I have the same love for this society as I did back then and believe that we all have something to share. This is truly a place to feel at home. Thank-you.

Visit GVNCS on facebook to connect with them

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