From June 28 to 29, the Navajo Nation gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit community will host the largest Indigenous Pride in the country in Window Rock, Arizona. To mark its 50th anniversary, all events will acknowledge and honor transgender women of color and the Stonewall riots that occurred in New York City.
Organizers from Diné Pride have announced a monumental two-day celebration that includes a Diné LGBTQ+ Symposium, Welcome Reception with Queer Showcase, 5K Color Run, Pride Festival at the Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park and an After-Party in Gallup, New Mexico.
“Using the sacredness of Diné principles and the history of our people, the 2019 Diyin ‘Adánitsiiskees event will highlight many social and educational disparities that affect our LGBTQ+ relatives today,” said Andy Nez, Pride Executive Director. “Far too long, Western enculturation has distorted identity and the existence of our LGBTQ+ relatives amongst the Diné people. We plan to change that narrative because we are all sacred and our teachings are non-discriminatory.”
Community members selected the theme: Diyingo ‘Adánitsiiskees – I am a sacred being – because all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Diné relatives are sacred and should find pride in who they are.
“There is nothing more traditional than being Navajo & LGBTQ. For millennia, we were honored and respected for the roles we took in the community,” said Alray Nelson, Pride Chief Operating Officer. “Since 2005, we have been challenging the Navajo government to repeal the Diné Marriage Act because it’s the only tribal law that directly discriminates against our community. Our Pride will be a showcase of LGBTQ political power, of our beauty and identities, and demonstrate to tribal leaders our shared resistance against discrimination.”