Without Reservations: Native American Lesbians Struggle to Find Their Way
Written by: Diane Anderson-Minshall
Beverly Little Thunder has been issued a death sentence. Not by the government; by one of her own. Leonard Crow Dog, a Native American* activist, has sworn to kill the 55-year-old Lakota nurse for performing the Sun Dance, one of the most important — and grueling — ceremonies for Plains Indian tribes. Participants dance for four days, eight hours a day, without food or water, as a ritual of sacrifice, renewal and strengthening.
The U.S. government outlawed the dance in 1904 as a way to squelch Indian gatherings, but Little Thunder has danced the Sun Dance since she was 19 years old. Years ago, at South Dakota’s Standing Rock Reservation, she got a rude awakening: “I was told that women like me were taken out and shot. I was not permitted to participate in the ceremonies.”
a wo’mn called sir
Written by: Sharon Bridgforth
Curve: Vol. 12#4
people often assume me to be a black man and in some ways i am but mostly i’m a Black butch/which to me is about gender identity/in combination with energy sensibility style and Spirit. for me to claim myself butch was a process. the first time someone called me butch/i was deeply insulted. for years i’d been called tomboy mannish a stud and sir/none of which was a bother. however butches/in my mind were white women who wanted to be men and i ain’t white/i’ve never wanted to be a man/and i wasn’t interested in engaging with women who wanted a woman to be a man. so to be called butch to me/was like being called an oreo. during the process of working to understand why people saw me/called me butch a lot of things surfaced. like/i remembered being ten years old looking at the sears & roebuck’s catalogue over and over daydreaming about the outfits i wanted-all those great color coordinated boys’ shorts and tees that would be mine one day/when i had money. i realized that as an adult i dreamt about stylish men’s clothes i wanted to buy. it became clear that in my mind/my body was a man’s body. not because i wanted to be a man but because i didn’t see my body as a woman’s/and i couldn’t imagine women’s clothes ever accurately expressing how i felt/inside. this has caused many a fashion crisis. my Black gurl hips and thighs don’t look right in men’s pants/my big woman titties don’t really work in men’s shirts and even if i considered women’s clothes something to dream about-they always feel too small too short and too confining.
the gregory hines que suave/Coloured man sleek city gq look that was the me i saw/inside was too phat for my wallet.