Nadleeh or Hermaphrodite or Cis-gender

The Navajo Human Rights Commission has reconvened its public hearings on Navajo gender violence and Violence against Navajo woman and Navajo LGBTQs at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.

I work with MSPI which is a meth prevention and awareness program that works in the community. An upcoming event is LGBTQ symposium in March 2014 and I ask for Navajo Human Rights Commission support and involvement, perhaps as a speaker. We also received some criticism about the LGBTQ symposium that we had last year. We were accused of promoting it. I said no; it’s all about providing support to our children. Some of these individuals are shunned by their own family and abused by others. Our people have forgotten that they are people too. We need to calm down and accept their way of life. And in our Navajo teachings, the nadleeh, is really a hermaphrodite and it is a Holy One because this being has male and female genitalia. Our children that are LGBTQs are not nadleeh; they are human beings, people.

I do hear that many of our children, who are LGBTQ, are accepted by their families but on the government level, they are not accepted because they are not treated the same as heterosexual couples. I was told that the term hermaphrodite is derogatory and that the correct word is ciz-gender. And also I want to mention that language can also be derogatory, such as saying that that person is that way.

We have no more individuals that want to testify and so I want to thank the Commissioners, staff and everyone here. The next hearing is at Tuba City, Ariz., Chapter on Jan. 15, 2014, from 10 am to 5 pm and then the next hearing is at Shiprock, N.M., Chapter on Feb. 19, 2014, from 10 am to 5 pm. If the Commission receives additional funding, more hearings will be scheduled. Thank you.

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