Bar Harbor’s “Indigenous Diva” gets national media exposure

photo by MDI filmmaker Thom Willey https://vimeo.com/dmbproject

Lyzz Bien is not the first drag queen Bar Harbor has ever known.

She might, however, be the first from the Mount Desert Island town to grace the cover of Native Peoples magazine or to be profiled by a national mainstream news organization.

Lyzz is the alter ego of Bar Harbor resident George Soctomah Neptune, 27, a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe who grew up in Indian Township in Washington County. Neptune, according to an NBC News article, is a master traditional basket maker who works as an educator at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, which is the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in Maine.

As Neptune has explained to Native Peoples and NBC, his feminine persona represents more than a desire to be a crossdresser. It’s a reflection of his status as a Two Spirit – an indigenous concept that doesn’t line up neatly with Western notions of gender or sexual orientation.

“We balance two polarities, two energies in our bodies, two energies in the same spiritual place,” Neptune told NBC News. “Those two polarities are not supposed to be able to coexist, but that’s why Two-Spirit people exist. We bring them into balance.”

Like Neptune, Bien is proud of her Native heritage and supportive of indigenous cultures and crafts, the article indicates. When she dresses up, she likes to wear items made by Native fashion designers, Neptune told the network.

For more info about George and Lyzz, you can read the Native Peoples article, visit her “Indigenous Diva” Facebook page, or look up her Instagram account at @indigenousdiva.

She’s also featured in some videos posted on YouTube in which she performs, while Neptune is shown in another giving a speech at an indigenous rights rally in Portland.

There is also a video about Neptune on Youtube that was produced by Native Peoples Media in conjunction with the magazine article.

 

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.