Taanishi, bonjour! I’m Janelle Desrosiers, the founder and Creative Director of Bloom + Brilliance. My pronouns are She/Her. I am Red River Métis and French-Canadian from Treaty 1 Territory, Manitoba, and I identify as a bisexual, Two-Spirit, and polyamorous.
I first understood I was bisexual in my early teens. Although I didn’t try to hide it, my relationships mostly leaned heterosexual and I often felt uncomfortable claiming my place in the queer community.
As I grew older, and made more friends in the community (or longtime friends came out, or started their own queer journeys), I realized that each of us truly does have a place.
As the daughter of a feminist mother and a progressive father, I grew up mostly making my own way and free of restrictive gender roles. I was inspired by my mom’s successful career and how my parents shared most household and parenting responsibilities. As a child, I was a bookworm, a “tomboy”, and a loud and confident leader. I also loved Barbies, camping, fishing, and anything arts and crafts related, and didn’t see any reason why all those parts of me couldn’t exist at the same time.
The combination of adolescence with the beginnings of being subjected to our toxic and gendered culture, sent me into a self-conscious spiral where I was all of a sudden very aware I didn’t fit the mold of a young teenaged girl. I wasn’t quite sure who I was and where I fit in. It took me years to finally become self-confident again, mostly thanks to feminism, queer pride, and body-positivity rising in popular culture again over the late ‘00s.
Over the past few years, I’ve also begun to explore my polyamorous identity more fully. My husband and I are each other’s primary partner, live and raise our child together, but we also allow our friendships and relationships to grow and change organically, rather than imposing (what would be for us) artificial monogamous restrictions.
Most recently, I’ve also been learning more about myself as a Two-Spirit person.
Two-Spirit (2S) is a modern, pan-Indigenous term created to acknowledge and unify the spectrum of gender and sexuality, as well it’s expression, in Indigenous people, nations, and communities. Although the term was coined in the 1990’s in Treaty 1/Winnipeg, the term represents “third gender” roles that have long existed in various Indigenous communities.
Traditionally, 2S people are considered gifted for being balance keepers, and carrying the spirit of both men and women. The role of 2S people was primarily one of spiritual responsibility, inspiring and guiding the community.
This is where I feel the most connected to my identity as a 2S person. An embodiment of both the masculine and feminine divine, with a responsibility to care, nurture and lead. I honour this role in myself as a creator, an artist, an innovator, a healer, and a matriarch in personal, professional and community relationships.
Part of this responsibility is to create a safe, inclusive and welcoming space within Bloom + Brilliance, for both our team members and our clients.
I will always strive to be a guiding force in my personal and professional life, honouring and encouraging diverse influences in my life and those around me. Our differences are our biggest strengths.