Sheila Lopez’s Children Led Her to a Navajo Tradition of ​Acceptance.

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06/07/2022

When Sheila Lopez, 48, realized that her two older children identified as LGBTQ, the information set her on a path to rediscovering her Native American cultural traditions and a new understanding of gender and gender fluidity. Mother to Samantha, 31, Emanuel, 28, and Matthew, 19, Lopez is an electrical engineer living in Phoenix, Arizona, and is of Mexican and Navajo ancestry. She established the country’s first native PFLAG chapter in 2011 to support LGBTQ people and their families. In the future, Lopez hopes to continue educating others on LGBTQ issues, particularly those on Arizona’s Navajo reservations. This is her story. Sheila Lopez: They say that in the Navajo way, when you have a child who is gay or trans, it’s an extra-special blessing. And I totally agree, because my children really opened my eyes.

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