Partial Transcript: My name is Sadie Phoenix Lavoie, and I’m interviewing…
Segment Synopsis: Introduction of the interviewer, Sadie Phoenix Lavoie, and the interviewee Monique LaPlante at the Two-Spirit gathering in Beausejour, Manitoba on August 4th, 2018. LaPlante gives verbal consent to the interview and to being audio recorded.
Partial Transcript: Is this your first time at the gathering?
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante reveals that this is their first gathering. They explain that elders recommended that they and their friends attend the gathering as part of their learning. LaPlante mentions enjoying the educational aspects of the gathering as well as developing connections.
Partial Transcript: I’m trying to figure out because everybody has a definition of what that is in many ways. I was born in Winnipeg, and I grew up in the Pembina Valley Hills with my mother. And I come from my mother, right? And I come from my father.
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante discusses their family ancestry. LaPlante explains that colonization impacted the indigenous side of their family.
Partial Transcript: I identify myself in pronoun as they/them she/her. But I also identify myself a lot with how-- my work and how I relate in the community. What I do for community or what my status or relationship with community is how I identify myself. Identity informs my value.
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante identifies with the pronouns they/them she/her. LaPlante also identifies with their work and how they relate to the community. LaPlante explains that the term ‘Two-Spirit’ is new to them, as terminology has since evolved from their youth.
Partial Transcript: For me, if you’re touching on Two-Spirit and spirituality specifically—Two-Spirit for me made the most sense when it came to gender fluidity, not spirituality, and that’s because I’m not very spiritual as a person.
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante explains that they are not a spiritual person. To LaPlante, being Two-Spirited is more about gender fluidity than spirituality. Science and facts make the most sense to LaPlante.
Partial Transcript: In 1998, I was seventeen, and I came out with my girlfriend that I had met when I was living by myself in Osborne Village. I was living with some roommates, and I met this girl and her partner, and we were all just a bunch of punk kids all in Osborne Village at the time.
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante discusses their first girlfriend and the struggles of being ‘out’ in their teen years. The fears associated with being ‘out’ ultimately affected their choice to not pursue teaching as there were no safety measures to protect them professionally. LaPlante then considers their healing journey.
Partial Transcript: Family has always been really important to me because there was a house in Winnipeg that my grandmother, my mom’s mother had, and I grew up with my mother when my father left.
Segment Synopsis: LaPlante discusses a house in Winnipeg that belonged to their grandmother, their absent father, and their mother’s mental illness. LaPlante ultimately found love and family in their friends and in those who supported them.