Last week we had the gift of meeting Lady Shug, a tremendously powerful Diné Drag Queen Social Activist and Artist, and see the impact that she has on trans and queer youth and adults, especially indigenous people.
(From Dylan):I found myself sobbing as I watched her perform, as so many parts of my own experience were on display, as so many of my emotions about what our community faces, especially our indigenous siblings, were brought to the surface and let out. Her drag performances helped me
release the energy that it takes for me to show up in my own community - it was a sacred gift I seldom get to feel as a trans person. I imagine I was only feeling a fraction of what the indigenous trans people in the audience were feeling.
These performances were part of a larger conversation on healthcare access for indigenous trans and queer people in partnership with NAU Health Justice Futures, capturing both the realities of systemic injustice and colonization as well as dreaming and visioning healthcare that is empowering to two-spirit, trans and queer indigenous people.
During the pandemic she has held countless fundraisers and mutual aid support shuttling people around to get to doctors’ appointments (often 2+ hours on her territory), making sure her people have access to basic needs while being devastated by COVID-19.
Her visibility both in her community, on Social Media through Shug Challenges, and on HBO Max’s We’re Here has resulted in her being targeted at her own home. While this is a part of a larger string of threats over this last year, most recently Lady Shug’s home in her territory was broken into and her computer was stolen - including access to a lot of her work.
We believe that everyone deserves support regardless of their circumstances. It breaks our heart when someone is so visibly committed to their own community’s well being that they are targeted for it.
Please help us LIFT UP Lady Shug while she lifts the rest of us up - give whatever amount that you can, every dollar matters, share her fundraiser WIDELY. Whatever amount that goes beyond what she needs will go back to her community. (We hope that she’ll use some of it to install security measures around her own home as well but of course she gets to prioritize how she uses the funds.)
You can donate to her GoFundMe, but better yet, donate to her directly using the QR-Codes here - since other platforms have fees and can often take months to process.
Get to know Lady Shug more in this interview here.
(Also side note- we strongly encourage you all to watch We’re Here - this is some of the most moving television we’ve seen, and Dylan’s family’s hometown area - Twin Falls, ID - is featured.)