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Video Quickie: Celebrating Queer Indigenous Voices Week: Interview with Daniel Heath Justice

July 5, 2011

OK, it’s a pretty long video, but a quickie post.

The writing thing is still not going so well, and I’ve got several drafts sitting here where I just ran out of steam partway through a post. But, here’s something very interesting (to me, at least) which showed up on Tumblr. Besides reblogging there, I decided to wrap a quick post around it here.



Celebrating Queer Indigenous Voices Week: Interview with Daniel Heath Justice

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Near the end of my video interview with Daniel Heath Justice (above) for this special week Celebrating Queer Indigenous Voices I asked, “… anything we’ve left out?”

“There’s a lot we’ve left out,” said Justice.


Although we had a table full of books we failed to mention Queer Indigenous writers from around the world. And I’m embarrassed to say that I did not mention an Indigenous, brown, queer woman who helped pave the way for a brown boy like me: Gloria Anzaldua. She was a Mestiza, Xicana who made an impact on the literature world and changed the way Indigeneity is seen, thought, read, written, and lived.

R.I.P Gloria.

Justice and I focused on Indigenous writers such as ChrystosPaula Gunn Allen,Gregory ScofieldBeth Brant, all amazing writers who are Indigenous to Canada and the United States.  A great interview (it’s always a pleasure chatting with Daniel) and resource for people, Justice was absolutely right: we left a lot out. (…)


During the first five minutes, they discuss the origin of term “two-spirit”, its political and cultural significance, and the tensions that come with using it generically to encompass different genders/orientations across different nations.

Interesting Racialicious post through the “read more” link. I’ve written some before about my own conflicted opinions about applying the Two-Spirit term to myself, and Daniel Heath Justice summed it up pretty well in the video, IMO: it’s a useful distinction, and a good sort of beginning point in figuring things out. I’m still OK with it as a decolonization-promoting umbrella label.

This video reminds me again that I really, really need to buy some books, and seek out more Queer Indigenous writers. I just haven’t been buying books lately, with the continuing trouble staying focused on reading. (Particularly fun when you’re hyperlexic; I’ve been trying not to worry about it much and just do more not-so-verbal stuff.) There is also the ghost poverty factor there, which keeps me from buying nearly as many books as I would like. (Though, for some reason, e-books are easier that way.) It still feels like a luxury. But, now that I do not have ready access to two university libraries–and am not about to do without necessities if I spend, say, £50 on books at a go–it is a very reasonable expense. Now, to get that through my thick head and do some shopping. 😉

Some of Daniel Heath Justice’s fantasy might end up in the mix, since I’ve never read anything of his before.

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