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Expanding the LGBTQ Acronym: Recognizing Two-Spirit Individuals

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In the heart of Ontario, a professor at Laurier University is stirring the waters of societal norms and sparking a global conversation. Dr. Percy Lezard, identifying as two-spirit, trans, and disabled, is advocating for an expansion of the LGBTQ acronym to MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+, a move that would recognize and honor two-spirit individuals and others who have long been overlooked.


The Call for Inclusion: Recognizing the Unseen

Dr. Lezard’s call for inclusion is rooted in the belief that the current LGBTQ acronym fails to acknowledge the unique experiences and struggles faced by two-spirit individuals. The term ‘two-spirit’ is a modern umbrella term used by some Indigenous peoples to describe those who embody both masculine and feminine spirits. This identity is deeply rooted in Indigenous cultures and traditions, often associated with revered roles within the community.

“Excluding the 2SLGBTQ component means disregarding the daily violence and experiences faced by our community,” shares Dr. Lezard. “Until the longer acronym is adopted, the quality of life for many will not improve.”


The Power of Acknowledgement: Honoring Traditional Roles

The call for inclusion extends beyond mere recognition. It is a plea to honor the traditional roles of two-spirit individuals within Indigenous communities. These roles, often associated with healing, spiritual guidance, and teaching, have been eroded by colonization and discrimination. By including two-spirit individuals in the LGBTQ acronym, Dr. Lezard hopes to restore their rightful place in society and promote greater visibility and representation.

“Inclusion is not just about acknowledging our existence,” explains Dr. Lezard. “It’s about recognizing and respecting the unique roles and contributions of two-spirit individuals within our communities.”


A Global Movement: Shifting the Cultural Landscape

Dr. Lezard’s advocacy is part of a larger global movement to challenge and expand traditional notions of gender and sexuality. From the streets of New York to the remote villages of Africa, individuals and communities are demanding recognition and respect for their identities.

“This is not just a local issue,” emphasizes Dr. Lezard. “It’s a global movement towards greater inclusivity and understanding.”


As the conversation continues to unfold, one thing is clear: the call for inclusion is not just about expanding an acronym. It’s about honoring the diversity of human experiences, recognizing the struggles faced by marginalized communities, and promoting a more inclusive and equitable world.

In the words of Dr. Lezard, “Until we can see and respect each other in all our complexity and diversity, we will never truly understand what it means to be human.”

Back at Laurier University, Dr. Lezard continues to advocate for change, inspiring students and colleagues alike with their unwavering commitment to inclusivity and social justice. Their call for inclusion may seem like a small step, but its implications are far-reaching, foreshadowing a more inclusive and equitable tomorrow.



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