Harlan struggled with being gay and Indigenous until he became aware of pre-settler, traditional Two-Spirit roles within his Cree culture. He cites being Indigenous and being gay – the two things that he struggled with the most – as the two things that he has built his life and career around, once he was able to reconcile them. He describes the purpose of the term Two-Spirit as an organizational tool rather than a sexual orientation or gender identity. Harlan is an avid Two-Spirit activist and advocate. As of 2017, he is doing a PhD at UBC in Two-Spirit research. There are two additional clips from Harlan, the first defines the term Two-Spirit, and the second advises Two-Spirit youth to seek out the traditional teachings within their own Nation and to see past any potential negative responses they may encounter.
Talking Points/Content Warnings (Themes): Social Expectations, Traditional Two-Spirit roles in Indigenous Cultures, ‘Coming In’, Racism and Homophobia within Indigenous Cultures, Reconciling being Two-Spirit Within Indigenous and Settler Cultures, Two-Spirit Activism.
Harlan’s Story is included in the following themes:
Watch Harlan’s Story
Watch Harlan’s Story – Who is Two-Spirit?
Watch Harlan’s Story – For Two-Spirit Youth