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On this past weekend’s Native Bidaské (Spotlight), Native News Online’s Neely Bardwell and Kristen Lilya welcomed Elva Guerra to the show. 

Guerra plays Jackie on the hit FX show Reservation Dogs that first premiered last summer. Guerra is a two-spirit Indigenous actor who first got their break when they auditioned for the show, thinking they were just going in to be a background actor. They have since made great strides in their acting career, and we can expect to see more of their character in the newly released Season Two of Reservation Dogs

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During the segment of Native Bidaské, Guerra talked to us about their experience as a two-spirit actor. 

“I think that was one of my hardest parts about coming to terms with being nonbinary and being a part of the LGBTQ+ community and just also trying to be an actor all at once — it’s almost like all of these things could be at fault to my career,” Guerra explained. “I really did try to put a little bit of myself into Jackie, including her clothing. It’s very androgynous and her haircut, it was my haircut when I was 16 when I first auditioned. Sterlin Harjo wanting that hairstyle on me was putting myself onto the screen. It was that little bit of showing the world who I am but not really saying it.”

“Saying that Jackie is nonbinary or two-spirit is not who she is, but me as a two-spirit person playing her and talking through her and just being on screen for other two-spirit people to see that you can act and you can be here. It’s showing them that it’s possible.”

Watch the full interview below or here.

 

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