2 SPIRITS & HIV CONFERENCE
Hosted by the Two Spirit Indigenous People’s Association in coordination with WorldPride and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. With generous support from the American Indian Community House, NYC Pride, Gilead, Indian Health Service with funds from the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.
We’re pleased to announce our 2nd annual Two-Spirits and HIV: a conference for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus Native Americans affected by HIV co-presented with the Abrons Arts Center on June 29th, 2019. The first annual was held in 1991. Were honored to have confirmed three of our speakers: Isadore Boni a member of the San Carlos Apache Nation is a 50+HIV Survivor, Educator and Advocate, Trevor Stratton of Ojibwe Heritage from the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS, and Ron Rowell a member of the Choctaw Nation and Founder of National Native American AIDS Prevention Center. Our conference will feature workshops and breakout sessions that will inform and impact our communities through best practices and/or policy changes, while enhancing our communities social justice and holistic wellness toolbox, providing ways to care for ourselves and each other as part of an effective treatment and prevention plan.
Curtis Harris-Davia (San Carlos Apache), a TSIPA organizer and one of the founding members of New York City’s “We’Wah and Bar-Chee-Ampe” – the second ever Two-Spirit organization in the United States, has been advocating for the Two-Spirit community since 1989. He continued to do so at the HOP town hall meeting on August 13th where he demanded that HOP include the “TS” in “TSLGBTQ” on all print media and communication for WorldPride 2019/Stonewall 50. This gesture would show respect for the First People of Turtle Island as well as honor Two-Spirit Indigenous People who are an integral part of the modern LGBTQ+ movement.
“We are inviting Indigenous people from all over the world to march with us, and to come to our fire” says Harris-Davia.
“Not only is two-spirit representation crucial, but providing culturally appropriate safer spaces for our youth and elders to enjoy pride as Indigenous people is paramount,” Says TSIPA organizer Tony Enos (Cherokee), a strong two-spirit activist and singer/songwriter/Producer.
Enos continued, “Our community will have a chance to express our pride. With a volatile history of our Indigenous voices being minimized and silenced, we will not be the forgotten people any longer. That includes during WorldPride.”
This program is a proud recipient of a 2019 NYC Pride Gives Back Grant!