LIFESTYLE
31/05/2019 7:13 PM IST

For Indigenous Artist Kiley May, Being 2-Spirit Means 'Walking Between Worlds'

"There's always been room for crossing genders," she says.

Kiley May has many different identities. She's Mohawk and Haudenosaunee. She's an actor, artist, and storyteller. And she's a transgender, two-spirit woman.

Two-spirit is the term some Indigenous people use to define their sexual, spiritual or gender identity. It's taken May a while to embrace all of these parts of herself. She told HuffPost Canada there was a lot of transphobia and homophobia in the communities where she grew up.

But, she's invested in finding the gender fluidity that's part of her history. Many traditional Indigenous ceremonies were less gendered, before the religious influence of colonial contact, than they are now: "There's always been room for crossing genders," May said.

May was able to connect with community, once she arrived in Toronto. Many people helped her in her transition, and she hopes she can offer that same inspiration to younger generations.

"Transitioning is a form of art, and it's my greatest artwork to date," she said.

Watch the video above to hear more from Kiley May.

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