Partial Transcript: I’m with Gayle Pruden, we’re at the Two-Spirit gathering in Beausejour. It is August 3rd, 2018. August 4th, 2018. So, is this your first time at the gathering?
Segment Synopsis: Introduction of the interviewee Gayle Pruden at the Two-Spirit gathering in Beausejour. Pruden begins by listing the many gatherings she has attended in her lifetime. She explains that she feels relaxed, and urges others to feel and express themselves as it as a place with no judgement. Pruden reveals she has been dancing jingle dress for over fifteen years.
Partial Transcript: When I was younger, I always was around ... like if I’d hear a drum somewhere, I was always so drawn to it. I felt so relaxed, I felt the healing from the drum.
Segment Synopsis: As a child, Pruden recalls being drawn to the drum. Pruden describes her reoccurring dream of wearing a dress, and eventually asks an elder for guidance.
Partial Transcript: And I had this two-spirited friend who happened to be in WayWay [Waywayseecappo First Nation], and that was the first place I danced. I told them about this jingle dress, and he said “oh my god, that’s so wonderful.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden describes her story of dancing in her first powwow and becoming a jingle dress dancer. Pruden describes her anxiety, the initiation, as well as learning how to dance from the heart.
Partial Transcript: No, I’m not from WayWay. I’m from Little Saskatchewan. Where I grew up, there was at that time ... there was only like a population of five hundred people in Little Saskatchewan, and that is a Christian belt.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden explains she is from Little Saskatchewan, a small First Nation community in the Christian belt. Pruden reveals she identifies as a woman. Pruden describes growing up as easy as there was no gender expectations she had to fulfill, however, she recounts one incident of being threatened. Pruden describes being raised by her grand parents and great-grandfather.
Partial Transcript: My grandparents were getting old. So, they were kind of hoping my mother would take over, which she did, but she drank and it didn’t really work out that well.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden explains why she had to move to Winnipeg. She explains that the transition to the city proved to be difficult, however, once her cousins moved to Winnipeg, she was happier.
Partial Transcript: My younger brother, he does ... well they all go to powwow. They’ve all been to powwows to come and support me. But, only my younger brother, the one below me, he’s a men’s traditional dancer.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden recalls going to church with her great-grandfather to hear him sing. She tells a story about a song her great-grandfather used to sing in the garden, and how it relates to her life now. She also remembers him being a medicine man. Pruden then describes the vision quests her grandmother used to send her on.
Partial Transcript: All of them. We all stay in touch. They love me for who I am. All my nieces and nephews call me aunty. My brothers, they call me their sister, and I’m fine with that.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden reveals that her family still keeps in touch. They respect her for who she is. Pruden expresses how proud she is of her brother and sister-in-law for raising and supporting their transgendered child.
Partial Transcript: No, I think we pretty much covered it. I should talk a little bit about that little CBC [news station] interview I did. CBC was after me before, trying to get me to talk about my life.
Segment Synopsis: Pruden reflects on the interview she did for CBC news and how the article is being used as a teaching tool for Two-Spirit youth. Pruden ends the session by stating that she strives to make two-spirited youth feel comfortable in powwow.