As They Are: Two Spirit People in the Modern World


"As They Are: Two Spirit People in the Modern World" is a 20 minute film by Mike Garrido and Tarek Tohme featuring Elton Naswood (Navajo), Ben Lucero Wolf (Kiowa), and Richard Eric Dearmore (Paiute).

After introductory comments, the film is divided into four main sections.

  • "Simple Origins" (from 2:07)which talks about the participants up-bringing and family of origin.

  • "Entering the Urban World" (from 5:39) follows the participants journey of self-discovery.

  • "A Christianized World" (from 9:10) unpacks the colonial Christian impact on traditional values, followed by a brief "Facing Discrimination" (from 12:13) segment about job discrimination.

  • A final "Finding Community" (from 13:45) segment has participants talking about their connection with the Los Angeles Red Circle Project.

  • Don't miss the segment after the credits, with more images and sacred song.

A powerful contrast in worldviews.

I think American society is really caught up in the boxes and the labeling of who individuals are. And that the allowing of people to be who they are is not... that we have to divide people into square boxes. You're native, you're lesbian or bisexual, you're uncircumcised. That's American thought processes... Yet, when we try to take away from that and understand the Native worldview and understand that the boxes never existed.