Though the FBI is regarding the attack as an act of a radical terrorist, some Two Spirit and LGBTQ advocates, such as Shawnee Talbot, say the acts are perhaps more appropriately labeled as homophobic.
Talbot is a First Nations singer and songwriter whose work has appeared on Disney TV and the television series “Mohawk Girls” and has shared the stage with Lady Gaga and Roxette, among many others. She identifies as Two Spirit and works as an advocate for LGBTQ and Aboriginal women’s rights.
Talbot said she is “battling with anger and is overwhelmed with sadness by the hateful actions” that have affected her community. “This tragedy was driven by homophobia and hate and it makes me realize how much work we have in front of us,” she said.
Talbot also said she refuses to hide or retreat based on the actions resulting in such a tragedy. “I am even more proud to be who I am as a Two Spirit person,” she explained. “I say to my community, together we will change the world to understand love in its entirety and I love you all so very much for that.”