ICEIS Rain is opening doors for indigenous gender-nonconforming artists, reports Canada’s CBC News. This week, the entertainer — who identifies as both female and male — became the first two-spirit person to perform at theAboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.
ICEIS Rain is also Massey Whiteknife, a 35-year-old member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, who identifies as as a man sometimes and as Rain, a woman, at other times. Being two-spirit, he explains to CBC, means “you have accepted both your masculinity and femininity and you embrace both your spirits.”
“Two-spirit" is an identification used by some First Nations people to describe their nonbinary gender identity. Some consider it most closely synonymous with the Western concept of "bi-gender" people and include it in the "transgender umbrella" of identifiers. Other sources, such as the CBC report below, equate "being two-spirited" with being "gay." The term, however, is not exactly equivalent to either "transgender" and/or "gay."
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