TikTok’s community is a place where differences are embraced and people are free to be their authentic selves. Next up in our Creator Spotlight Series, we’re celebrating another one of our inspiring LGBTQ+ Trailblazers, Geronimo Louie (@geronimo.warrior), and highlighting his journey to share his true self with the world.
Geronimo is an Indigenous person from the Chiricahua Apache band and the Navajo Nation. He identifies as “two-spirit” or “Indigenous queer.” He’s not only an Indigenous fashion designer whose traditional ribbon work has been featured in Vogue, but a talented TikTok creator who teaches people about cultural sensitivity and respect. Read more below about how Geronimo is shining a light on his people and their sacred culture.
What does Pride mean to you? How has that meaning changed for you over time?
For me, Pride is a reminder of our history as queer folk. We have to remember the past in order to do better for the future. Over time it has changed me to be a better person. It has taught me the importance of queer rights and how much we still have to fight for. That is why I became part of Diné Pride, a small organization that focuses on Indigenous queer peoples. We uplift our Indigenous queer people through scholarships, and we support them by hosting our own Pride event.
How has your identity influenced or shaped you?
My identity has shaped me to be more in touch with my culture. As an Indigenous person, it wasn’t easy finding my way through the LGBTQ+ community because of systemic racism and overall cultural appropriation. As a “two spirit” person, I have to constantly educate non-Indigenous queer people about what it means to be two spirit and where it comes from. However, once I got in touch with my roots and my fellow Indigenous queer people, I found my place within our community. I’m finally ready to be who I am without hesitation.
How do you celebrate the diversity/strength of (and also support) the LGBTQ+ community?
I celebrate the diversity and strength of the LGBTQ+ community by being myself as a Indigenous queer person. Recognizing my sacredness and the resilience we’ve had for hundreds of years, even after colonization. I also support the community by recognizing other queer of people of color who also get misrepresented and pushed to the side. I see them and understand their pain. We come together and remember our history and our advocacy.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
The TikTok community has inspired me to be more open with people from across the world. I’m exposed to so many different people. I’m inspired to learn not only where they come from, but how I can help them. TikTok has really helped me get in touch with a lot of amazing people of color and learn about their cultures, their issues, and their strengths.
What video are you most proud of creating?
I am proud of all my videos, especially the ones where I get to inform people. It may get difficult, but using our voices to speak out on things is important. In some ways it can be therapeutic because I get to share content with other people who share my opinion. This video touches on culture appropriation vs appreciation, proper representation, and welcoming indigenous people to work spaces.
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?
Quality over quantity is what I stick to. I want to make content that I will enjoy watching over and over again. Content that’s meaningful to me that can also connect to other people. So always be yourself. It's okay to create silly content too -- not all of my videos are about education.
What advice would you give to the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community?
My advice to the next generation would have to be love. It’s a cliché, but I truly believe in love. Love is powerful. Love for yourself, love for your community. From love, strength will come, and from strength, wisdom will follow. Be proud of how far we have come. Be sure of how far you will go.
How do you think people can be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?
To me, allies are people who want to help a certain community. For the LGBTQ+ community, allies should look into learning the real history of Pride, genders, and queer people overall. Allies should also support the community by educating others and providing resources that are needed. Allies need to help abolish the gender norms that Western society/ colonizers have put in place.
Who are some LGBTQ+ TikTok creators that everyone should be following/watching (and why)?