Category: Radio Show

Spirit of a Leader

Originally published here https://www.facebook.com/rigatuso/posts/10156988833223523?tn=K-R


I wrote this a few days ago and shared it exclusively on my patreon page (the link to read the post is included). There is so much more I wanted to write and share but I believe in light of today’s events in DC the Great Native Spirits know the time is now. I am listening to them.

I do not own the rights to the music I used in the video clip below. Please go and support Frank Waln and buy his music. I bought all he has created and the song I used here speaks volumes to my journey on this earth as well as my awakening and true desire to be me and create open and affirming environments for all transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks in our world.

My journey has been a complex one and most recently I have found myself working toward honoring my gifts. I am not doing this as a show. I am doing this as a deep spiritual connection to my people, to the land and because all of my identities are valid and my story matters. I try to meet people where they are at and have done a great deal of work along the way to become the best human I can be.

The messages I was given are not new today. They have been percolating in my unconscious as well as my conscious mind for years. But my own fears stopped me in so many ways and so many times throughout my life. Plus, I have allowed the “laws of the white people” to silence me.

I painted my face the day I did this shoot. I researched war paint and decided to paint my own hand white and then place it over my mouth because that is what I had seen in my research.

Little did I know the intensity of feeling that would present itself in that act. I stood looking in the mirror with my hand over my face and began to cry. I was sobbing almost immediately. Sobbing at the ways my culture and heritage were not only stripped from me but also the ways in which I have “bought into” the belief that I was a savage and that if I just acted the right way I would be respected.

Smoke Signals photoshoot with Sam Jacobs

Years of personal experience have shown me otherwise. And I am reclaiming the word savage because to me it takes great bravery to stand in the face of ZERO agreement and keep forging forward and speaking one’s truth. And honoring those who show up on my path.

Smoke Signals photo shoot with Sam Jacobs

My sobbing was finally witnessing in that moment the ways in which my identity had been stripped from me but I was also sobbing at the ways in which I also silenced myself by buying into the messages of folks who saw me as less than.

I almost canceled this photo shoot with my friend Sam Jacobs out of an intense fear of showing my true self, exposing my chest proudly, and not fat shaming myself and reclaiming who I am. But he was so gracious and kind so I could hardly say no! Also, the irony of the white man capturing my image is not lost on me. But he listened to what I had to share and he captured some of the most powerful images of my spirit, MY TRUE SELF. He is a good human and I love him and I am so grateful we are connected and he brought these images to life. And now I share this all with you!

I would love to personally thank the following folks who have become patrons on my page and literally pay me monthly to share these things with them. It isn’t a large amount of money but the truth is the fact they came to support speaks volumes to me. The fact they are interested in what I am doing speaks volumes to me.

Thank you Ben CassChris WinterJoe ShawDominique MorganKacie WareFrank Kubat and John D. Muñoz for investing in me! I love you all so very much!

#indigenous #NativePride #LeadWithLove #MyGifts

Thoughts on Toxic Masculinity originally posted on my patreon page along with this video

I think the greatest fear in regard to the topic of toxic masculinity is those who are literally brainwashed by the binary! Humans would do well to see that the same system that created the binary and literally attempted to erase the gender spectrum is the same system that created the delineation of traits and relegated them to either masculine and feminine. And in some cases, we have also placed those traits along with their label of masculine or feminine into the binary of good and bad.
Right now and for probably as far back in time as you or I can imagine we have been assigning certain personality traits to masculine or feminine. We have forced ways of being for what makes a woman a good woman and what makes a man a good man. And there is literally NO difference between the two. What makes a good human a good human? However, you would answer that question would apply to everyone.
Those who are the most toxic right now are predominantly of male bodies but the truth is they are also of female bodies and all kinds of configurations in between.
Our body parts are just that parts. Who we all are, how we live, express, act, treat others, has ZERO to do with gender. We are talking about HUMANIZING all folks and allowing the rainbow that makes up who we are to shine.

Smoke Signals photoshoot with Sam Jacobs


Those who DO NOT and CAN NOT or REFUSE to acknowledge this simple fact will get left behind. We all have the ability to be TOXIC. We also have the ability to be loving and kind. But we must acknowledge the system that got us here. And acknowledge the lives that have been lost because of this system! The identities that have been stolen. The cultural practices, languages, expressions of the Black and Indigenous People of Color.
The system is white supremacy. We all possess varying levels of it. And if you are unwilling to grapple with that fact, you are unwilling to change and create a world where all folks can thrive as opposed to merely survive.
We all deserve so much better than the petty farguments (Facebook arguments) we find ourselves in from day to day right now. But the fact of the matter there is WORK to be done. Serious internal reflection work to be done. A willingness to NOT KNOW the answers. A willingness to go deep. To sit with the discomfort.
If you have ever felt as though there is something standing between you and the things your heart dreams of, the answer will be found once you seek within yourself and acknowledge the things YOU have done to STOP you from succeeding. But for BIPOC we also need to acknowledge the fact that we were way down the block, around the corner, down another street, up a large hill, and across a long valley away from the starting point of the race to begin with.
At some point in your life, your spirit was shattered. Go to that place. The answers will be found there.
Eagle Heart, Two Spirit of the Menominee Nation, Great Great Great Grand kin of War Eagle. Here to reclaim what is mine. What was passed down to me through my DNA. I possess the heart of a warrior who has always stood courageously in LOVE.

Smoke Signals photoshoot with Sam Jacobs

Music on the video is called Victory Song by Frank Waln Frank Waln, or Oyate Teca Obmani is a Sicangu Lakota rapper. The winner of 3 Native American Music Awards and recipient of 5 nominations, both alone and with his group Nake Nula Waun, Waln grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and first began listening to hip-hop as a teenager. Please consider purchasing his music and supporting his artistry here http://frankwaln.com/shop/

Urban Abbey

On the show today is ChrisJorgensenReverend Chris Jorgensen with The Urban Abbey which is a faith based community housed in a coffee shop in Omaha’s Old Market.  The Urban Abbey is a non profit dedicated to making a difference one cup of coffee at at time and they believe everyone should have a place at the table.  There have been many changes over the years when it comes to churches and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ Community.  Right here in the midwest there was a group of churches who came together back in 2011 and issued The Heartland Proclamation which was a public apology to the LGBTQIA+ Community for the way the Christian Church has treated us in the past.  And they made a promise going forward to being Open and Affirming just as The Urban Abbey believes.  If you are looking for a faith community you may find one there but you may also listen to this interview and find a great deal of comfort in what Reverend Jorgensen shares about what The Urban Abbey is up to!  QueerFaithUAShe shares more about The Queer Faith on Campus Initiative too!  I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!  Thank you for tuning in to Speaking Of Happy!

If you don’t see the player click here and listen to the episode on PodOMatic.

#shebelongs

Back in March we did an interview with Eris Koleszar for Speaking Of Happy and little did we know how big she would become in less than a month!  Eris is an outspoken advocate for the trangender community and recently took a powerful stand against anti-trans descrimination online via her selfie campaign!  She has not only thrust herself into the public eye but she has also taken on activating allies in her quest to create safe bathroom spaces for Transgender people in Omaha!  After an online dispute started by a post from a local bar owner Eris has been personally advocating on behalf of the trans comEris1munity online and on television!  We knew from the moment we met her last year that we had to have her on Speaking Of Happy and thank goodness we acted fast before her dance card filled up!

Eris is a amazing human being who is articulate and funny and just all around wonderful to spend time with.  She is a force to be reconned with online as she takes on some of the most vile anti-trans people in Omaha but also is activitating local allies with her selfie campaign!  She has been going to local venues and asking allies to take selfies with her and post them to their social media with the hashtags #shebelongs #shejustwantstopee #transwomenarewomen and educating people about the hateful anti-trans legislation showing up across the nation.  She is defeating stereotypes one selfie at a time and doing it with great class!

 

This is our interview which was conducted last March and originally aired on RadiOmaha.

If you do not see the player then click HERE and listen on PodOmatic.

TDoV Omaha

 

TdovTDoV Omaha is Transgender Day of Visibility and it happens across the nation on March 31st. On the show today I sat down with Miles Cristiano Jordan who is one of the organizers. He shares with us what the event is all about, why it is important, and how you can get involved! I enjoyed chatting with Miles and I hope you enjoy the interview. Also, I will be at TDoV this year so come see me and learn how you can become an active ally!

If you can not see the player click HERE to listen to the podcast on PodOMatic.

Cock

COCK

Today on the show we sat down with Joshua Mullady, Director of COCK which is in it’s final weekend of performances!  If you are looking for a thought provoking, prevocative, word fight and battle for love then this play is for you!  Written by Mike Bartlett, COCK will challenge your views of love, sexual identity, to cheat or not to cheat, and you the notion if something is worth loving it is worth fighting for!

If you do not see the player above click HERE and listen to the episode on podomatic.
 

I personally saw the show and felt the acting was brilliant!  The central character, who by the way is the only character with a name, is John and he is in love with M but they fight a lot and have a number of differences which don’t always leave John feeling like an equal.  On a break John meets W and as they dance with their dialogue he begins to find himself falling for W!  But, he can’t stop thinking about M.  As the story unfolds it becomes a duel to the end.  No death occurs, but perhaps the metaphorical death of outdated notions of sexual identity!  So, challenge yourself!  Listen to the interview as you run over and buy tickets for the show!

Or as you listen go check out SNAP! Productions website for more information about the diverse theater productions they bring to Omaha.  And then after you are done listening to this show go and listen to our interview with Michal Simpson, Artistic Director of SNAP! by clicking here.

Thanks for listening and enjoy the show!

Jocelyn

Jocelyn I first saw Jocelyn when a friend posted a video shot on her iPhone of Jocelyn singing at an open mic. I was blown away at her talent in a less than perfect cell phone video! She jumped off the screen and I knew I had to meet her. Well as fate would have it I messaged her a few times and asked if she would be willing to play at a fundraiser I was hosting and she AGREED! She blew the small crowd away and we all left that night feeling as though we witnessed something very special. So, it was a given I asked Jocelyn to come on the show and share her talent with Speaking Of Happy fans! So this is our wonderful conversation and also included as a bonus is her most recent single she released back in January and an acoustic version of another song she wrote! We hope you enjoy the show!

Jocelyn3

If you do not see the player click HERE and listen on podomatic.

Please visit Jocelyn’s website by clicking HERE after the interview!

Marilynn Barner Anselmi

 

Marilynn with the girls

On today’s episode of Speaking Of Happy we chat with Marilynn Barner Anselmi, a playwrite, who’s play Mama’s Girls, was just beautifully produced by SNAP! Productions here in Omaha.  Marilynn came to see the play on the last day of the run and we sat down to chat with her about what the inspiration for the play was along with how she became a playwrite.  Anselmi is a gifted writer and shares some very personal stories about her life.  The episode originally aired on RadiOmaha earlier this year.  We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did!

 

 

Anselmi and the cast of Mama’s Girls!2015-12-06 16.13.48

 

 

 

 

2015-12-06 16.53.26 2015-12-06 16.53.11Anselmi gets interviewed by Chloe the young actress who played Sammy in Mama’s Girls

 

 

 

 

 

If you do not see the player click HERE and listen to the podcast on podomatic.

Andrew Joseph Kimberley O’Donnell

AndrewOOur guest today is Andrew O’Donnell, they are a senior in high school, an author, Editor in Chief at The Progressive Teen, State Chair at High School Democrats of Nebraska, and an all around great young human!  Andrew shares about the struggles they have had growing up with adversity and does so with great eloquence and clarity!  They give me a great deal of HOPE for our future!

If you can’t see the player above click HERE and listen to the episode on pod-o-matic.

Get Foo’d

On the show today I sat down with local photographer Joshua Foo!  Prior to this interview I had never met Joshua in person.  I saw some of the his photos on Facebook and instantly fell in love with his work

JoshwithFlyingFurniture

so I decided to send him a friend request.  Considering we had so many friends in common I hoped he would accept my request and he did!  I also liked his photography page on facebook so I could stay up to date with his work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has a crazy awesome imagination and has created some amazing images that are whimsical and fun!

Haizel

JoshAndAmber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what really had me take notice was when he started posting photos of people with a front and a side view of each person.  The people are not smiling and appeared to be randomly plucked off the street. I watched as he posted them one after another and I started to notice something. Each of them were amazing and alluring. I wanted to learn more about the people he was posting as well as about the man who was capturing these incredible images!

A Photo Series by Joshua FooInstagram: @joshfoolovesyouFacebook: Joshua Foo Photography

Posted by Joshua Foo on Saturday, September 26, 2015

So we sat down on the back patio at Caffeine Dreams, which is where he discovered the backdrop that would become a key element in his series! I was even honored to have my photo taken that day!

AsYouWere_Eli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here it is the full interview with Joshua Foo, my new and amazing friend! How many times does a person get to have their very first conversation with a person be recorded for all to hear and to live on forever right here on Speaking Of Happy! Thank you Joshua Foo!

We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did, and if you don’t that’s ok, we at least hope you learn something new!

If you can’t see the player above click HERE and listen to the show on PodOMatic.

Joshua is not only an amazing photographer but a human being extraordinaire and we talked about his photo series As You Were along with what inspires him and why he chose to become a photograper.  Josh is a compassionate and amazing human being and I am so very grateful to now be able to consider him my friend.

Brody Ray

Detour EP

Detour EP

Today on the show we sit down with Brody Ray, Kearney, NE native, who is working hard to make his dreams become a reality! He recently released his first EP Detour worldwide! He has an upbeat alternative rock sound that is full of life and energy! On this episode we talk about how Brody became a musician along with some wonderful stories about his growing up knowing he was different.

Brody’s life started out different from most. Brody, born female, new that his body didn’t match what he felt on the inside, as young as a toddler. Brody’s mother remembers him kicking the back of her seat in the McDonald’s Drive Thru until he got the boy toy in his happy meal, and jumping around in diapers and cowboy boots with a guitar singing at the top of his lungs.

I happen to think Brody is an incredible talent as well as being an amazing human being! He has a heart of gold and a deep desire to make a difference in the world with his music and I believe he is well on his way! He has performed at numerous Pride’s around the US along with performing right here in Omaha for Heartland Pride! Be sure to check out his website at www.brodyray.com and BUY HIS MUSIC which is also available on iTunes.

Brody also sang live in the studio for us and we shot a little video footage for your viewing pleasure!

If you can’t see the player above click HERE and listen to the show on PodOMatic.

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