Harlan is a member of the Saddle Lake Reserve, White Fish Lake Band of The Cree First Nation, and grew up up on his mother’s reserve, The Beaver Lake Indian Reserve. Harlan describes his experience of growing up a “sissy boy Indian” (his term) and how these fundamental characteristics have developed into the foundation of his strengths. Harlan is an avid advocate and activist for Two-Spirit people. While living in New York he founded the North East Two Spirit Society. Harlan is also the founder and managing editor of the Two spirit Website: TwoSpiritJournal.com He has served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV and AIDS (Obama appointed). Currently Harlan is a PhD Candidate at UBC doing Two-Spirit research and is developing the first Two Spirit childrens book entitled: Grandma Susie Can’t Go Hunting
Harlan’s story is one of a series of stories recorded in conjunction with the Gender Ally project. In partnership with Artemis Place Alternative High School in Victoria, onmyplanet.ca has developed a series of 15 workshops on Trans, Two-Spirit and Gender non-conforming inclusion. All workshop videos are viewable online, and all workshop materials are free to download. onmyplanet.ca gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Victoria Foundation on the genderally.ca project.
Ruben talks about trying to express themself as a trans identified femme artist. Having recently moved to Toronto Ruben is finding considerably more support and trans community in the larger centre.
Ruben’s story is one in a series recorded at World Pride in Toronto, Ontario in 2014. Heart felt thanks go to the sponsors of this series: Media Net in Victoria, BC, Trinity Square Video in Toronto and The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Lynch History Grant Special thanks to Milada Kovacova at Trinity.