• Two-Spirit Identity among Tribal Communities: The Effects of Intergenerational Trauma on Queer Native Young-Adult Well-Being

      Tippeconnic Fox, Mary Jo; Keovorabouth, Souksavanh Tom; Trosper, Ronald; Galarte, Francisco; Tsosie-Paddock, Aresta (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Although many Native American nations have oral traditions featuring stories of Two-Spirit individuals who were highly respected in the community, many Two-Spirit youth have experienced trauma to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Reports show that Navajo youth who identify with the LGBTQ+ or Two-Spirit community are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their non-Navajo counterparts (Navajo LGBTQ Report, 2015). This study focuses on Two-Spirit young adults (ages of 18 to 28) and documents and analyzes the relationship between their identities and the trauma that many of them experience. The dissemination of the findings brings social awareness about the lack of indigenous knowledge, even among Native American nations. The foundation of this study relies heavily on Indigenous methodology, with the use of storytelling specifically on creation stories and participants sharing their experiences. Within Native American communities, storytelling is an essential aspect of Native societal structure, and the use of storytelling is vital to the survival of Indigenous people (Brown and Strega, 2015; Wilson, 2008). This studies’ research questions are: How does intergenerational trauma impact two-spirit well-being? Do cultural connections and beliefs affect the well-being of two-spirit individuals? In which ways? Within the study, there will be limitations with the use of survey-only response that revolve around reliability, validity, and generalizability. The findings of the survey challenges Native American communities to create an environment of acceptance to lower rates of suicide, self/physical harm, and many other factors that impact two-spirit youth’s health.