The intersection of my identity as a gay man and a Chippewa Cree tribal member begins at the intersection of Route 87 and Highway 448. The unpretentious hamlet of Box Elder, Mont., on the Rocky Boy Reservation is home to a humble population of 800 and the monuments of sovereignty of my ancestors.
My parents believed that if they didn’t like the road we were on, we needed to pave a new one. So they moved the family to the nearest metropolis: Spokane, Wash. What my parents gave us was opportunities and choices that we never had in Box Elder, protecting my sister and I from an unknown future (I was clearly, queerly different at a young age).
But pieces of my heart remained at the intersection of Route 87 and Highway 448.