A recent Xtra article about trans activist Ignacio Rivera left some readers questioning Rivera, who identifies as two-spirit.
“With Ignacio Rivera identifying as Two-Spirit, on behalf of the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society, I would like know what Native Nation is Ignacio Rivera a member of to use this term?” Harlan Pruden wrote in Xtra‘s comment section.
Pruden then states that only indigenous people of Turtle Island are able to claim the two-spirit label.
Another reader chimed in, writing, “This appropriation seems incredibly disrespectful.”
Rivera, who also goes by the name Papi Coxxx, read the comments and fired back in a video interview with Xtra (below).
“I don’t believe in this public shaming type of bullshit that they did,” Rivera says. “I could understand the concern about it because there are a lot of people who are not identified as indigenous or native who take that term and are using it for themselves.”
Rivera states that they (“they” is Rivera’s preferred pronoun) are Taíno, an indigenous people of Bahamas, Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles.
Rivera, who identifies as gender-fluid, uses gender-neutral pronouns but does cling to one feminine title — the mother of one prefers to hold on to the label “mommy.”
This raises the question: what’s in a label?
Below is a label-rich interview with Rivera. The video opens and closes with short clips from one of their recent porn films, Mommy Is Coming. Rivera has a blog site and another site that features their art, film and writing.