Geo Soctomah Neptune, (They Them), a Two Spirit educator, Master basket Maker, and Idle No More activist of the Passamaquoddy Tribe was elected to the Indian Township school board Wednesday. According to records Neptune has become the first non-binary trans person to be elected in the state of Maine.
Amsqahsewey ksehe etoli-enawotultimok! “They came in first in the race.”
This may seem to be cishet’s worst nightmare come true. They might be both right and wrong for a very, very long time. They are right to be fearful if the true nature of the Two Spirits conquers others’ fear of them exposing the hater’s true nature.
And they are wrong because Two Spirits aren’t othered. The peskotomuhkati people, like most First Nations, lived in their land peacefully before white Europeans came and pushed them off. In many of those tribes, two Spirit people lived and were and still are welcomed for their diversity and contributions to the collective. Recently Passamaquoddy historical recordings have been restored revealing the richness of their culture to their children.
We, by that I include myself having European ancestry, have a lot to learn. Let’s start today.
About their election the day before voting, Neptune told MaineTransNet, “I feel confident saying that I am a person who makes their opinions known, and is not afraid to speak out against injustice when I see it. I care for our culture very deeply and see the preservation of our language and other traditions for future generations as being my first priority. If working with the other members of the School Board, these would be my focuses when making decisions. Confidence in one’s cultural identity translates to confidence in life.”
“To my knowledge,” Neptune wrote on Facebook, “I am also the first Two-Spirit person to run for any kind of office in our community. I mention this because it is a big part of who I am; being transgender and non-binary is part of who I am, and part of who you would be electing, should you select my name.”
“A big part of dismantling tribal governments and working to colonize us as a people was specifically by flipping the switch from matriarchal to the patriarchal system,” Neptune said in an interview with Them in 2018. “We went from a place where women were in charge to a place where women and feminine people and Two-Spirits were disrespected because Native identity was almost a direct antithesis to patriarchy.”
The Maine Beacon which first reported there win reports that Neptune’s four-year school board term begins October 1st, 2020.
Geo Soctomah Neptune posted on Instagram “My mix is on SoundCloud–you should check it out! This song pretty accurately describes who I am and featured songs by some of my favorite artists–A Tribe Called Red and Lady Gaga!”
I took the liberty of embedding this mix set to autoplay so we could experience it while reading about Neptune, an incredible part of our universe.