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Kalle Benallie
Indian Country Today

Two-Spirit TikToker Geronimo Louie, Diné and Chiricahua Apache, has amassed about 162,000 followers on the popular social media app.

The first viral video he had was dancing in his traditional clothes.

“A lot of people enjoyed the content I created and stuff. It kind of went on from there,” Louie said.

He said many of his ideas are developed on the spot and when he’s in a good mood. For his educational videos, Louie tries to make sure he has enough information and resources to share.

“It’s quality over quantity for me and I don’t really use hashtags or anything. I don’t really promote it as much as other people do on the platform. I want my videos to be genuine and meet genuine people as well,” he said.

And being on the platform has made him connect with Indigenous people across the world — ranging from Mexico, Canada, the Amazons and Hawaii — and learning from them.

“It brings us together as Indigenous peoples and I’m in love with our community so much,” he said. 

In addition to being a social content creator, Louie is a youth director for Diné Pride and fashion designer.

He collaborated with Target to promote LGBTQ+ stories, books and authors for Spirit Day and National Coming Out Day in October.

As a fashion designer, Louie creates traditional clothing like ribbon skirts and modern-day clothing. He was interviewed by Ojibwe writer Christian Allaire from Vogue to discuss his ribbon work.

“It’s probably one of the biggest highlights of my year this year,” he said. 

Although his videos have garnered positive reactions and budding relationships, there is some negative feedback and criticism about expressing his culture.

“It’s made more opportunity for them to learn and for me to teach,” Louie said.

Louie’s advice to other Indigenous creators is to be highly conscious of who they are and what they can do while not being a “tourist guide” for others.

It’s vital to show real topics and issues.

“It’s important to hold that responsibility and hold yourself accountable to those responsibilities like bringing awareness to our people, education for our people,” he said.

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