Opening from Steven Barrios
My name is Steven Barrios. Long Time Holy Rain is my Indian name. I am a Two Spirit elder from the Blackfeet Nation. I am one of the co-founders of the Montana Two Spirit Society. We are a society that educates on culture, ceremonies, and health for our Two Spirit brothers and sisters.
At the Montana Two Spirit Society, we care for our Two Spirit youth, who will be continuing the work that we started years ago. We care for our health, as an important part of our traditional respect for our bodies. This is one of the reasons we do HIV and Hep C testing at our gatherings and on the reservation where I live. Last, we care for our stories. As Two Spirit people, this was one of our traditional roles. In today’s world, it is so important that we share our stories. We never know who will hear our story or how it might help them. Our personal stories can be very powerful and life changing.
I encourage my Two Spirit relatives to share their experiences and personal journeys.