In 2014, then doctoral student Saylesh Wesley published the now canonical TSQ article, “Twin-Spirited Woman: Sts'iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li,” gifting her story of “coming in” as a Stó:lō trans woman to all Two-Spirit people. Using similar “storywork” methods, the following oral history biography expands the written record of Saylesh's life before, during, and after her well-known narrative, as told by Saylesh to Jamey Jesperson, a trans historian who spent the summer of 2022 recording Saylesh's oral stories for the Stó:lō Library and Archives. Tracing Saylesh's multiplex life in seven parts, this biography provides a bird's-eye view of her birth, her complicated childhood and teen years, her early-twenties transition and foray into 1990s Vancouver nightlife, her infamous reception of the title Sts'iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li in 2012, and then her groundbreaking renaming ceremony four years later. The biography concludes with Saylesh's story today, as she is amid yet another grand transition: crystallizing into the Two-Spirit Elder she was always meant to be.

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