Bay Area American Indians Two-Spirits (BAAITS) exists to restore and recover the role of Two-Spirit people within the American Indian/First Nations community by creating a forum for the spiritual, cultural and artistic expression of Two-Spirit people. They produce an annual powwow, a Native American cultural gathering that features traditional dancing and drumming. They are proud to produce the only public Two Spirit Powwow in the world; their powwow, unlike mainstream powwows, celebrates the gifts that Two-Spirit and LGBT people have to offer the community. Many powwows have rigid gender roles, and their event has been working to queer these roles by de-gendering the dance categories as well as the Head Dancer roles, incorporating partner dances, and encouraging participation of same-gender couples, all things which are rarely, if ever, seen at straight powwows. Through the annual powwow, Drum group, traditional arts classes, community potlucks, and other activities, BAAITS brings together Two-Spirit People and allies to revive these sacred traditions and strengthen awareness of and support for Native and Two-Spirit communities. These cultural events are critical to serving Two-Spirit People who must resist the overlapping oppressions of colonialism, racism, capitalism, homophobia, and transphobia.
This organization is supported through the Funding Queerly Giving Circle, which is housed at Astraea.