Hailey Tayathy (they/them or anything said respectfully) is a member of the Quileute Nation, a fiber and digital artist, and Seattle’s premier Native American drag queen. Tayathy uses their queer Native experiences to inform their unique brand of drag. They aim to bring healing to Indigenous communities and to show everyone that Indigiqueers are still here and are stronger and more beautiful than colonized minds can imagine. For Gender Euphoria, Hailey live streamed a drag performance, followed by a Q & A, on July 9 at 7pm PST.
On opening night of Gender Euphoria, Hailey premiered a new drag performance, followed by a Q & A with the artist. Hailey’s performance is a Quileute paddle dance with a twist. The dance was be followed by storytelling and performance that recount an alternative telling of a Quileute legend about a rainbow-colored bird and the start of the potlatch tradition. As Hailey writes: “Similar to queer Indigenous people during colonization, the rainbow bird gives up aspects of its beauty to better the lives of its community. However, Quileute stories are full of transformations – so perhaps there’s hope that the rainbow bird will one day get its colors back.” After the performance, audience members were encouraged to ask Hailey about their work!
You can watch Hailey’s opening night performance here!
“While drag goes beyond the way that I present myself in my every day, it is an art form that brings me joy because it makes my Indigiqueer identity visible. It also provides me with a way to tell my story and convey my experiences, when Indigenous voices are often purposefully muted. A primary reason that I continue to do drag is because of the ways other Indigenous people relate to and see their experiences reflected in my performances. My performances often focus on taking heavy or seemingly dark themes and topics and imagining happier Indigenous futurism, while blurring the fake line between traditional and contemporary Native art. ”
— Hailey Tayathy