Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vanguardist Interview Translation

Heres the English text translation from the Vanguardist website:


Almost Fetish
Charlie Ballard on life as a gay Indian comedian.

TEXT by: Michaela Mayer, David Winterberg

"Many men go out with me because I am an Indian. Does that make me now to such a kind of fetish?" Charlie Ballard, 37, is a gay Indians and
treated as a stand-up comedian open the issue of "Native Americans"
and homosexuality.

"The situation of the so-called Native Americans or American Indians'
in the United States is very difficult to summarize because there are
so many different peoples, and each has its own problems," says
Ballard. The majority of Indians still live in or near directly into
the 250 reserves of the United States. Many "American Indians", but
already live in large cities, as well as Charlie Ballard, who himself
grew up in California.

Indian means to be poor
In all cases, the socio-economic situation of the Indians is sobering.
Thus, the average annual income of Indian households, nearly 50
percent below the U.S. average. Indians are still among the population
group with the worst health, and are especially alcohol abuse,
unilateral or malnutrition and poor health care to the most important
causes. Due to the non-recognition of their indigenous rights, and
their limited self-determination, they are often dependent on welfare
benefits, giving them the majority in society often brings a
reputation as "social parasites".

Charlie Ballard also addresses this issue and believes that most
people knew nothing about the relationship between indigenous and the
U.S. government. Ignorance and prejudices about Indians are
characterized by defective or the history books, what people saw in
the film and television over them.

The lack of understanding of the society towards the indigenous
cultures show in recent decades also common among the so-called sacred
sites: traditional, sacred sites, the construction projects will often
not taken into consideration.

"Precisely that is relevant again in Vallejo, California, where a
giant amusement park to be built on a sacred indigenous burial
grounds. The people are not interested in our country or our
traditional ways of life. If the people so desperately want this
amusement park, then they should build these but kindly on their own
cemetery and dig their own graves, in order to build a playground! "

Early Outing
An indigenous descent to have meant to him, especially not to think
only of themselves, but in daily life also always the welfare of the
entire Indian community in view. So to his role models are especially
those strong female Native American activists who are worried about
all the families and future generations. "I'm lucky to know some of
these indigenous leaders, and try to follow their example. We still
have some old traditional members, sharing our cultures and values
of a caring, peaceful coexistence to younger generations, otherwise we
would be lost. "

His homosexuality, Charlie Ballard has known very early on. "I've
always known that I feel more attracted to the same sex. My parents
have noticed very early by my feminine behavior. I'm just for the
acceptance of my parents and very grateful that I got a chance to live
my life the way I want. Of course there were also family members who
were not exactly enthusiastic, but with time and understanding, which
has provided. "

"My place as a gay tribe, but I only found when I went to boarding
school and there met many like-minded people from many different
tribes had, gave me a greater sense of meaning or purpose in life.
Most critical, however, those Indians who were converted to
Christianity are the most severely. "

"In any case, I believe it today, Two-Spirit widget generation through
the internet and social networking easier than previous. They are
still facing the same problems and challenges such as homophobia,
sexism, or hatred, they can still fall back on a much larger community
- a mouse click away. "

"My homosexuality has me as a stand-up comedian is not harmed, rather
my habit, often vulgar, perform direct and uncompromising. However, I
take into account, as I would like to talk openly and honestly with
the people and the heart. I would later be remembered as funny, no
matter how I label the other, or me. "

At the end, his favorite punch? "I have them not, because I'm never
really satisfied with what I write or think of me, but I can tell you
one thing: I do love a good dick joke, obviously ...!"

Hard facts:
Name: Charlie Ballard
Age: 37
Location: Oakland, California.
Ethnicity: Anishnabe of Michigan and Sac & Fox of Oklahoma
Occupation: Stand-up Comedian
Relationship status: Single

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