Submitted by: Mairah Breau
My name is Mairah! I am Metis, specifically Mi’kmaq, from New Brunswick but I was born and raised in Ontario. When growing up my Indigenous side was never really addressed or accepted because my mother always said we were “Christian,” and never brought up our roots. Later on in life (roughly around high school), I learned more about Indigenous culture and I began asking questions. My mother finally gave me answers to the questions I had and I learned so much! I started going to events and meeting friends from other bands and learning about their past experiences.
“while she was growing up, her Indigenous roots were pushed down”
My mother never opened up about our Indigenous roots because she was raised Christian and is a very intense believer. Her father is a Chaplain, so while she was growing up, her Indigenous roots were pushed down. She forced me to grow up like she did – constantly pushing my native side away, never bringing any light to it. When I grew up and became a teenager and started developing my own identity, my own individuality, I wanted to reconnect to my roots. I began researching and understanding my Indigenous identity, going to local events, and making a bunch of friends all from different bands and regions. I became so in touch with who I was! Then, my mother met a man who was from a reserve and he taught me how to properly make dream catchers and it was truly one of the best days of my life. My mother started to learn about her culture while being with this person and she started to reconnect as well.
Growing up the Christian way also forced me to think I have to be straight. My mother was always pressuring me to “Go get a husband,” asking me when she will “become a grandma,” and asking how many kids I wanted to have in the future. I could never envision this dream and future with a husband and children that everyone else seemed to have about their future. When I was younger, my best friend and I were caught kissing in her closet (I know, ironic), and then I was not allowed to see her anymore. I later had to move away from the area because my parents got a divorce, and I never saw her again. However, in my first year of highschool I met my first love, and she was amazing. We dated for a year, half of it in secret because of the fear of judgment. When I came out to my mother, she was upset about not having any grandchildren, but still accepted me and gave me a hug. At the time, I still did not know where I fit in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community because I did not know there was anything more then just gay, lesbian, and bisexual.
“It took a little while for me to understand who I am, and honestly I think I still haven’t found out everything about myself”
I eventually went to a GSA event at my school and realized that I was not alone, and I was not the only one who did not know where they fit on the spectrum. I later researched and asked a lot of questions and found out that I am pansexual, demi-sexual and a demi-girl, which leads me to my identity of ‘Indigiqueer.’ It took a little while for me to understand who I am, and honestly I think I still haven’t found out everything about myself. I’m only 19, but my mind is old. So far I have found out that I love everyone and I don’t see gender as a part of whomever I like. I found out that I do not feel a sexual attraction to someone unless I am in a emotional-relationship with them first. I also love being feminine, I love being a girl but I have strong discomfort with the lower half of my body. I have always felt that sexual organs did not make a person who they are, and I always hated the fact that because I have a vagina I am defined as a woman. Sometimes I feel masculine and wear binders, but I have never really felt the sense of dysphoria that most of my friends have. They told me how it felt, to experience body dysphoria, and I never felt it as strongly as them. Despite that, I have learned that wearing the binders still helps me, and the acceptance I have experienced taught me that my feelings are still valid. Being able to be on a spectrum of feelings is very reassuring, and I know that I am a human being just like everyone else, and the way I feel about myself is valid. As an Indigiqueer individual, I have had the opportunity to learn so much about myself as well as my ancestors. I am proud of the community and support I have from other Indigenous, and queer people.