The East Coast Two Spirit society is crowdfunding to get a float into the march that is the climax to NYC Pride 2016. The week-long festivities begin June 21, culminating with the annual march on June 26.
EC2SS is a member of International Council of Two Spirit Societies and they advocate for change in public perception of Two Spirit people, and for changes in policy on municipal, state and federal levels.
“EC2SS is concerned with the growing lack of regard for the lives of our Two Spirit people, especially those who may be Trans* identified. We believe that the importance of strong advocacy for these members of our Family cannot be overstated,” their website says.
“Until Two Spirit People are welcomed back into the Circle, it will remain broken,” writes Sadé Heart of the Hawk Ali states on the EC2SS website. Ali is a First Nations Mi’kmaq affiliated with the Pictou Landing Reserve in Nova Scotia. She identifies as Two Spirit and is a member of the EC2SS Leadership Council.
For Ali and her colleagues, participation in one of the oldest and well-known Pride celebrations in the U.S. is especially important for Native youth.
“Is it worth it to help save the lives of our young ones who need role models so they can see they are not alone?” they ask on their website. “Is it worth it to give our Two Spirit people a sense of pride dancing together as family and as part of a sacred history? Is it worth it to show others in the Rainbow Communities that we are here and that we’ve always been here? We think so!”
EC2SS has set a fundraising target of $7,500. The organization was featured in the 2015 NYC Pride Guide and was the only Native American / First Nations group to march. Their expectation is that they will be the only one this year as well. They want to build on their past achievement with more ambitious plans for a float with a live Tribal Drum and singers. The registration fee for the float is $800; costs of the float rental, drum honorarium, decorations, transportation for the Elders, sound system rentals, and related expenses combined add up to more than $7,500.
Donation details to support the gofundme page can be found here.
You can also donate via a PayPal link which can be found at the bottom of the EC2SS homepage at http://www.ec2ss.net.
Gay Pride 2015 – East Coast Two Spirit Society
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