This Couple is Fighting for Equality and Safety For Two Spirit People On Tribal Land
Felipa DeLeon Mousseau Grew up in Manderson on the Pine Ridge Reservation. When she was young she knew a few gay people, including her cousin, and while they were accepted in the community they were not always respected.
Felipa Deleon Mousseau and Monique “Muffie” Mousseau in 2022 at a Two Spirit gathering at Flat Head Lake, Montana. Courtesy of the participants.
When she was in her 30’s Felipa went for out for a night with coworkers to a dimly lit, crowded bar in Rapid City, South Dakota. This is where she first saw Monique “Muffie” Mousseau. Muffie had also grown up on the reservation, but 16 miles from Felipa in a small town called Porcupine.
The hands of Felipa Deleon Mousseau and Monique “Muffie” Mousseau at their StoryCorps interview in Rapid City, South Dakota on January 31, 2023. By Savannah Winchester for StoryCorps.
A fast and intense love sprung up between them. And it took them on a journey that neither of them could have anticipated. They came to StoryCorps to talk about that night and what came next.
Top Photo: Felipa Deleon Mousseau and Monique “Muffie” Mousseau at their StoryCorps interview in Rapid City, South Dakota on January 31, 2023. By Savannah Winchester for StoryCorps.
This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
This recording was made possible by a partnership with Uniting Resilience.
Originally aired May 5, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.