Participants: Catherine & Nazbah; Violence; Homophobia; Misogyny; Community; Outness; Indigenous
Nazbah: And that’s the culture of masculinity, right? And male supremacy has such a big impact and part of that is gendered violence. Um, and I think what’s important for bigger systems to understand –I mean I worked for a health center where in the span of ten years, we had a kid that had come out I would say five years ago in our programming, in our youth program as part of the health centre, and I remember the youth worker saying –and this was someone who had been there for 20-plus years- and she was like, “this would not have happened ten years ago”. And I asked her, I said “what happened ten years ago between that time to now that this is possible?” and she was saying “we did a lot of our own work to be able to understand that two-spirit people are part of our community. We had to do our own work around our own homophobia, misogyny, all those sorts of things, um, and then we had to put that into the community and we had to teach that to the kids so that, you know, all those many years later, a little kid could come out and she could be –she could say ‘I’m a lesbian’ and her peers would be like ‘Awesome. Great. Let’s have a party’”, right? So that experience –I was just thinking like, I think educators, institutions, and systems have to know that it takes time to actually shift a system.
Tara: And a culture.
Nazbah: And a culture. And there are so many interlocking systems that actually work together that you have to be in –working with all those different systems. And also, you also have to be committed, right? You know, on the reservation we had so many people come in in two year stints as doctors, as nurses, as teachers, what have you, and later I realised that they were coming in, um, making a lot of money, a lot of loans were given, and they didn’t care about us, you know? But, so I think if you are interested in changing something like this you have to be invested at least ten years to see any smidgen of a difference. But you have to keep at it.
Nazbah: Right? And everyone has to be engaged, most importantly the adults. ‘Cause this is our problem. We cannot have kids –we can’t have them hold this weight. That’s not their job. Yah.