Té Diamond- Native American Transgender Entertainer & Activist new face of Campaign
At Sapling & Flint, we are proud to announce Té Diamond from the White Mountain Apache people as the face and inspiration behind “Té’s Heart”; a 2020 addition to our accessories collection. We are proud to announce we will be donating 20% of net profits from the Te’s Heart Design to Native PFLAG, based in Arizona.
Té, is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and also has roots in the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Guided by her role models in the Arizona transgender community, Té began her career as a drag entertainer on stages in the Phoenix area in 2016. Her entertaining career has gone region wide as she travels the entire southwestern USA to perform and contribute a Native American voice to the Transgender community.
Té’s budding influence in the drag entertainment scene has made her a strong candidate for community leadership; she entered the pageant scene and captured the title of Miss Twisted Peacock 2017 and Phoenix Entertainer of the Year 2018. Finding her voice as a Native American person who is navigating space for Transgender people in America; she lends a perspective to inclusion that the world has been sorrowfully denied for a long time, “Trans Individuals have been and always will be here,” Té commented, “We are sacred; we are your family.”
Her pageant career has flourished alongside an exciting new trend in the pageant community; Native American Transgender pageants. Receiving encouragement from the Native American LGBTQ community in Arizona, there has been a rise in the presence of Transgender pageantry & titles across the southwest. Té captured the title of Miss Apache Diva in 2019. She now has the distinction of carrying the Transgender Flag in Powwow Grand Entry color guards; a position almost exclusively reserved for military & tribal leadership in the past. Having both a mainstream and a Native American pageant title under her belt, she attributes her success to her sense of community, “I've always felt support with every pageant I’ve been part of in the Phoenix Community. Phx Pride has been very inclusive its where I got my drag start & found my family.” This past January brought a new challenge to her; Té won the title of Miss Supreme 2020. This title is a bonified launch pad as it qualifies her for the coveted title of Miss Phoenix Pride 2020, whose competition takes place this March.
Té Diamond is the first Indigenous person ever to qualify to compete.
Active in her community, Té currently serves on the executive for Native PFLAG, the first chapter of PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians And Gays) in the USA that focuses on supporting Native American communities and emphasizes traditional Native American LGBT/Two-Spirit teachings. PFLAG is the USA’s largest organization helping families & allies understand how they can support the LGBTQ2S people in their lives. “Native PFLAG is the only PFLAG chapter in the country to specifically cater to LGBT/Two-spirit Indigenous individuals,” said Té Diamond, “ Our outreach and visibility are the foundations bridging the gap between communities and organizations.”
Community volunteerism, work, entertaining and pageantry require a high level of balance. Té has taken that challenge head-on, but not without insight that she wished she had as a youth in transition.
If she could speak to her young self,
“I'd tell baby Té [and any other Trans Individual] to live your life! Choosing myself in most scenarios has helped me find balance in life, but also happiness.”
Her greatest advice for transitioning and balancing work?,
“Find your own support team. Having your support team there through your transition will also make your transition seem less of a singular thing. Transitioning has been the hardest thing I've done in my life & I could not imagine doing it without the support of my family”.
In the Phoenix-area? This March, you can support Té in her road to Miss Phoenix Pride 2020 by checking out the pageant during Phoenix Pride week 2020.
At Sapling & Flint, it’s always been our motivation that as we grow we bring our people with us. Our brand goal is to raise the profile of Indigenous peoples; being a venue that shares with the world in a good way our diversity, love of design & culture, and to create positive conversation and education about the people of Turtle Island. We are guided by our ancestors, and we are 21st century peoples. Every year we like to introduce a new design to our collections that continues that conversation, and this we are proud to introduce “Té’s Heart”; a design that highlights the timeless presence of the Transgender community at the heart of our Indigenous Nations. Sapling & Flint is proud to donate 20% of net profits of the Té’s Heart accessories line to Native PFLAG to support their programming.
PFLAG Phoenix Native American Chapter