Town Hall
1119 8th Avenue, Downtown Seattle, Seattle

  • Gregory Smithers with Hailey Tayathy

Before 1492, hundreds of Indigenous communities across North America included people who identified as neither male nor female, but both.

Gregory D. Smithers’s book, Reclaiming Two-Spirits, seeks to decolonize the history of gender and sexuality in Native North America. It honors the generations of Indigenous people who had the foresight to take essential aspects of their cultural life and spiritual beliefs underground to preserve their stories.

Gregory D. Smithers is a professor of American history and Eminent Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University and a British Academy Global Professor at the University of Hull in England. His research focuses on Cherokee and Southeastern Indigenous history, as well as gender, sexuality, racial, and environmental history. His books include Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal and The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity. Follow him at and on Twitter (@GD_Smithers).

Hailey Tayathy is an enrolled member of the Quileute Tribe, a visual artist and Seattle’s premier Coast Salish drag queen. They are a founding member of the Indigenize Productions artist collective and organizer of the Indigiqueer Festival. Tayathy uses their queer Native experiences to inform their unique brand of drag. They aim to bring healing to Indigenous communities and to show everyone that Indigiqueers are still here and are stronger and more beautiful than colonizer minds can imagine.

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