Proud to be Navajo and gay

Proud to be Navajo and gay

Commentary printed in the June 30, 2005 Echo Magazine.

Echo Magazine Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the anti-same sex marriage initiative accepted by the Navajo Nation.

Proud to be Navajo and gay

Editor:

I am a full-blooded Navajo and I am gay. I am not ashamed of the person I am, and I am proud of my two-spiritedness. To deny me the right to marry the man I love is discriminatory and goes against the concepts of what Navajo religion and tradition teach.

I was always taught by my elders, especially my grandmother, to be true to myself and show love, not hate. Hate, discrimination and greed were never taught to me by my elders; the world outside my Navajo tradition showed me that ugliness.

The Navajo Nation always prides itself on being a sovereign nation with its own cultural values. I don’t see these values ingrained into the institution anymore. As for cultural values, the Navajo Nation is unfortunately looking more and more like the Western religion conservatives we see today.