Metro Weekly

OutWrite 2018: Two-Spirits Belong Here by Xemiyulu Tapepechul

Is there a place for Two-Spirits in the Native community?
Does our queerness
Our transness
Our non binary physicality
Threaten the Red Road?

Do Creator’s children who don’t subscribe
To white supremacy
To the gender binary
To transmisogyny
Not deserve a space?
Not deserve respect?
Not deserve life?

Do our lives
Our existences
Threaten yours?

Are you afraid of the big brown weirdo?
The angry tranny?
The pissed off queer?
Are you afraid that our brilliance
Our majesty
Our Creator granted glory
Will outshine yours?

Are you uncomfortable with our presence here
With our pride?
With our existences?
Are you uncomfortable that you would choose
To not break bread with us?
To not help when we have nothing left?
No family.
No resources.
Nothing but ourselves.

Are you afraid that we will take you out?
Cause that’s what we’re afraid of.

Afraid of saying hello too kindly
Or goodbye too rudely
That my life to you
Has no worth
That my life to you
Is disposable
That I won’t survive my next interaction with you.

That you’ll shun us from this space.
That you’ll deny us community.
That you’ll kill us into extinction.

Your hate
Your anger
Your disapproval
Your confusion
Creates a culture of exclusion
A culture of erasure
A culture of genocide
A culture that says it’s okay to not make space
To make fun
To ignore
To kill.

Your ignorance is erasing us.
Your erasure is killing us
You are killing us.

Im afraid to call myself Two-Spirit
One day there will be zero Two-Spirits left
You will destroy our communities.
Your exclusion will drive us all into hiding.
Into questioning ourselves
Am I Two-Spirit enough?

Am I?
Am I?
Am I?

Does my queerness
My indigeneity
My Trans body
Qualify for Two-Spirit?

Does my detribalization
My refuge
My separation from my people
Take away from my queerness
My indigeneity
My transness
My Two-Spiritedness?

I am Two-Spirit enough.
I am my Ancestor’s descendant
I come from Trancestors who gave me that right
That power
That privilege
I am Two-Spirit.
And I belong here.

Two spirits belong here
We are still here
We’ve always been here
And we will always be here

Read more of Xemiyulu Tapepechul’s work in Metzali: Siwayul Shitajkwilu: Indigenous: Heart of a Womxn Writing, first published in April 2018 and available on For more information on Xemiyulu Tapepechul, visit

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