Massey Whiteknife is preparing to take the stage at the MTS Centre on Friday, and in the process, make history.
Whiteknife will be the first-ever two-spirited entertainer to perform at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.
What does that mean?
“You have accepted both your masculinity and femininity and you embrace both your spirits,” said Whiteknife.
Whiteknife will perform as Ice is Rain – a woman.
By day, the 35 year old owns a safety business in the Alberta oil sands. At night, he transforms into IceisRain.
“One night when I dressed up, when I was 18, something changed,” he said. “Something changed, and I was not Massey for that night; I created someone else. I felt like it was my second spirit.”
Whiteknife said it wasn’t easy growing up a young, gay aboriginal teen. After years of torment, Whiteknife said he embraced his female spirit.
“For one day, I wasn’t molested. I wasn’t abused. I wasn’t being bullied, and I felt free,” he said.
Whiteknife said he feels he is Ice is Rain when he puts on his wig, and then, he said, he becomes she, a formidable force that helped Whiteknife gain the strength to overcome his abuse.
“I’m Ice is, and I’m the queen,” she told CBC’s Jillian Taylor in a Winnipeg hotel room, preparing for the award show.
Rain is up for two awards at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, which will kick off at the MTS Centre on Friday night.
“I don’t even have the words to express the emotions. I am overwhelmed, honoured. I’m humbled,” she said.
Rain will be performing her anti-bullying anthem The Queen on the nationally-broadcast award show.
“I wrote this song about anti-bullying and about my life growing up being bullied and wanting to build my own life,” she said.
The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards begins at 7 p.m. CT on Friday. Ice is is also performing at Fame at 11:30 p.m. after the APCMAS on Friday.
Note: Massey Whiteknife refers to himself as both two-spirited and as a drag queen.