Addicted to Love? Misconceptions, a First Nations Gay Man’s perspective

In our journey to learn about the many misconceptions people face in their lives, from a romantic or sexual perspective, we’ve reach out to many people from various walks of life to learn more about how the navigate these sometimes murky waters. So it’s my pleasure to introduce to you a gem of a human, the incredibly talented Tomson Highway.

Tomson is the epitome of multi-talented. An Order of Canada-honoured playwright, musician and storyteller, His plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing have won multiple accolades, including the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Floyd S. Chambers Award. This weekend,  Tomson will perform a retrospective cabaret of his musical career at the famed Hugh’s Room, but before that, we chatted with him to get his very unique perspective on sexuality and the role it plays in his life, his career, and the misconceptions he has faced throughout both. Take a read below!

What misconceptions have people had about you as a gay man? As a First Nations gay man? 

None, really. I have always been loved everywhere I’ve gone.
Did you ever ‘come out’? How did you negotiate these identity issues in your professional life?
I think I came out when I was three. I have always been totally comfortable with who I am and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had extraordinary parents who loved me deeply.
What influence has sexual identity had on your work?
I’ve always thought that for someone to have a 350-degree vision, he must be both male and female at the same time. Being totally male gives you only half that vision, ditto with being female. You need both to “see it all.”
How did you negotiate these identity issues in your personal/romantic life? 
I have always been totally comfortable to be 2-spirited. I celebrate it every day of my life. I thank God that he didn’t make me straight. I would find THAT totally and utterly boring. I think straight male treatment  of women, for instance, utterly atrocious, utterly shocking (not always, of course, but too much of the time.)What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
That laughter is my favourite activity in life. That if if I have a religion, that is it, that I worship the God of Laughter.

To see the magic that Tomson brings in real life, you can join him at Hugh’s Room with a slew of talented musicians today and tomorrow (December 12th and 13th). Details below:

Songs in the Key of Cree

Venue: Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St W
Performers: Tomson Highway, John Alcorn, Marcus Ali, Micah Barnes, Laura Hubert, Teresa Castonguay, Jani Lauson, Patricia Cano.
Dates: Saturday, December 12 & Sunday, December 13
Show time: 8:30 PM
Running time: 70 minutes
Tickets: $22.50 Advance/$25 Door

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet. Nadia has written for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada, and was a weekly columnist for Don't Believe a Word I Say. She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine. Nadia is the co-founder, Managing Editor and resident Music lover (and editor) for Addicted.
Nadia Elkharadly

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