Divina-nicole Jerome Pelletier

Gesgapegiag, Québec

Growing up in the United States, Divina’s stayed connected to her culture through her mother’s stories and visits to the reserve where she grew up. When Divina decided to move to Gesgapegiag, her experiences growing up openly as a member of the 2SLGBTQQIA community shaped how she learned about her culture and built new relationships.

Initially nervous about coming on reserve, Divina quickly learned that her family and friends knew she was Two-Spirit. She used this as an opportunity to support community members who weren’t as comfortable coming out. She started organizing events for the 2SLGBTQQIA community, such as a Pride Parade and a memorial for the Pulse shooting, and answered questions for youth who were coming to understand their Two-Spirit identities..

Divina’s work was recognized when Sima Youssef from the LGBT+ Baie-des-Chaleurs Association for Sexual and Gender Diversity reached out and asked if she would work with them on a publication about the Two-Spirit community on the Gaspé coast. The creation of the photo book is one of Divina’s proudest moments and it helped her come out as trans.

“After the book, a lot of our stories in between Gesgapegiag and Listuguj, came out, and people were like, “Oh, there are two spirit people here.” It’s also good for other people to realize that there are struggles within the community. I only realized I was trans because I was like, well, if this eight year old can come out as trans, why can’t I come out at 27?.”

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