Married two-spirit couple wins The Amazing Race Canada
A two-spirit couple have claimed victory on The Amazing Race in Canada.
Anthony Johnson and James Makokis became the first indigenous winners of the CTV reality series, which features teams embarking on the race of a lifetime across Canada.
The married couple claimed the $250,000 prize in the September 10 episode, following the weeks-long contest
The pair are both two-spirit, a term used by First Nations people to represent those who possess masculine and feminine spirits, with interlinking gender, sexuality, spirituality, and social roles.
Amazing Race winners: It’s OK to be different
Speaking to CBC, the pair said they wanted to show two-spirit and transgender youth “that it’s OK to be different.”
Makokis, a Saddle Lake Cree Nation doctor, said: “If there’s two guys wearing a dress, they want to express their identity differently than the norm, then why does that matter? How is it hurting somebody else?”
He added: “I have a large transgender population in my medical practice, and I see the results of social isolation, it sends a strong message when their doctor is saying that… and we wanted to do that.
“We thought it was really important.”
Our existence is political, couple say
Makokis said that he and Johnson have been flooded with messages from viewers happy to see more diversity in television.
He said: “That was one of the main reasons why we chose to go on the show is to demonstrate that publicly.”
Johnson added: “By being a queer person, by being a person of colour, by being an American-Canadian couple… by default your existence is political and so we’re not doing anything different than what we do in our lives on a daily basis.
“So any naysayers, I’m happy, because that means they’re being educated, that means they’re being exposed, that means they’re listening to something that we have to say and whether or not they agree with it is not my concern.”
The couple previously made a splash by getting married while running the Vancouver Marathon.