This past week three of our Native LGBT ambassadors attended Tucson Pride in Tucson, Arizona!
(Pictured L-R) Miss Montana Two Spirit 2017 – Vanessa Kristina (Salt River Pima), Miss International Two Spirit 2017 – Timothy Ward (San Carlos Apache), Miss Apache Diva 2017 – Vicki Quintero (White Mountain Apache).
Lets get to know these fantastic ladies and why they decided to rep our communities!
First up is Vanessa Kristina (Salt River Pima), a former Miss Indian Transgender Arizona Elite:
I won my first crown & title in boarding school when I was 14yrs old. Things were different then, we would lock ourselves in a room and finish before the dorm staff made rounds. Now, we are out in the open. We have many pageants and a Two-Spirit Pow Wow created by the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirit Society. I was once referred to as a Two-Spirit pioneer, I hope I've inspired others to be who they are. Strong, Courageous & Proud!
Next up is Vicki Quintero (White Mountain Apache). a former Miss Indian Transgender Arizona:
Da'got'eeh, my name is Vicki Quintero. I am a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. My paternal clan is the Butterfly clan, my maternal clan is the Roadrunner clan. I am from the East Fork community. I am honored to be the current reigning Miss Apache Diva 2017, a pageant put together for Apache LGBT2Spirits. I am very proud and honored to be an Apache woman. Everything I do, and every decision I make has been influenced by my culture and language which I am blessed to be fluent in. The message I want to bring, not only to the Two Spirits but to Indian Country, stay true to yourself, depend on you, be strong and keep living the life you want to live to be yourself.
Rounding out our 2107 Native LGBT Royalty is Timothy Ward (San Carlos Apache), who was recently crowned Miss International Two Spirit IXX – 2017:
Da'go'teeh' Hello everyone, I am know to many as, “Twix” , but my Christian given name is Timothy Ward Jr. and my Apache name is, “Holds a Gun” . I am from the Adobe Cut Bank people born for the Horizontal White Rock people of the Western Apache in San Carlos, Arizona. I weave Apache burdern baskets, one type no longer weaved by anyone else, I also weave water jars or ollas.
I am wearing a rainbow crown, which is worn during a rainbow dance. The rainbow dance tells a story of the life giving rain to plants, animals, and people of the desert. Rainbows are a sacred part of Apache culture and tradition. The style of Apache dress I wear is an old style from the early 1900's. The hoop dress or better known today as a campdress was often plain and had non matching tops with skirts. The painted face design I wear was popular during that time, often worn to identify a persons band or family clan. It was also worn before going to war or for weddings, this part of our tradition is becoming lost so I wear it as often as I can.
My message to Two-spirit youth, I encourage you to learn all you can about your culture, traditions and history because we are nothing without it. Be who you are no matter what comes in your way, you were created to be a special part of people who surround you with love. Hate is only hurtful if you surrender to it, be above that, always shine through the darkness and your light may change their hearts. Be the Rainbow after the storm, A'hi'ya'eeh.