Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Native Americans and Homosexuality - The Way of the Two Spirited People.

Posted by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:33 AM
  • 64 Replies
3 moms liked this

THE WAY OF THE TWO SPIRITED PEOPLE

Native American concepts of gender and sexual orientation

By Sandra Laframboise and Michael Anhorn

The two-spirited person is a native tradition that researchers have identified in some of the earliest discoveries of Native artifacts. Much evidence indicates that Native people, prior to colonization, believed in the existence of cross-gender roles, the male-female, the female-male, what we now call the two-spirited person.

In Native American culture, before the Europeans came to the America's, "two-spirit" referred to an ancient teaching. This type of cross-gender identity has been documented in over 155 tribes across Native North America (Roscoe 1988).

Our Elders tell us of people who were gifted among all beings because they carried two spirits, that of male and female. It is told that women engaged in tribal warfare and married other women, as there were men who married other men. These individuals were looked upon as a third and fourth gender in many cases and in almost all cultures they were honoured and revered. Two-spirit people were often the visionaries, the healers, the medicine people, the nannies of orphans, the care givers (Roscoe 1988). They were respected as fundamental components of our ancient culture and societies. This is our guiding force as well as our source of strength. This is the heart of Two-Spirited People of the 1st Nations (2 Spirit Nation of Ontario) This paper explores what we know of the past of two-spirit people, compares that to the present experience and looks forward to the role that two-spirit people could play in the future of First Nation's people in Canada and across North America.

Before beginning our discussion on two-spirit people and their roles, it is necessary to take a moment to discuss the terminology used here. Native and Native American are used to refer to the peoples who inhabited North America before European contact. Certain quotations also use the term First Nation's to refer to the same. These terms are in common usage among First Nation's people in Canada to refer to themselves. In addition, the term two-spirit refers to the concepts of gender variant people in Native America traditions. Early explorers of North America refered to this concept as berdache. Two-spirit is preferred as it emerged from Native American people whereas berdache was imposed upon Native American's by the colonial explorers.

The Past - Uncommon gender identity integrated into society

Most tribes were aware of the existence of two-spirit people, and many still have a name in their traditional language for them.

For example, The Din éh (Navaho)refer to them as nàdleehé or one who is 'transformed', the Lakota (Sioux) as winkte, the Mohave as alyha, the Zuni as lhamana, the Omaha as mexoga, the Aleut and Kodiak as achnucek, the Zapotec as ira' muxe, the Cheyenne as he man eh, etc. (Roscoe, 1988).Some tribes had different names for two-spirited men and women. Other tribes, though, did not have such a concept.

The abundance of terms that we find as we study various tribes testifies to the familiarity of Native Americans with gender-variant people. It is important to note that this is different than sexual orientation as such words did not exist in Native languages. Concern for appropriate terminology should always be on one's mind because 'Gender' is an obligatory grammatical category in the English/French and Latin languages. It is a linguistic term and has no connection with biological sex or social identity of an individual. This issue comes to a head in the area where 'gender' intersects with the Native people of North America. Many non-natives have misinterpreted two-spirit as referring to people with homosexual tendencies, when in fact, the ceremonies and practices were based on different genders being manifested, and not on sexual preferences or practices.

Source


Thoughts?

Sherri

KittyLicking.gif picture by wer4pu
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:33 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:14 AM
7 moms liked this

that the 'savages' (using the word as sarcasm) are actually more evolved than the 'civilized' groups.

purpleducky
by Silver Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.

SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I knew this too.. I have spent a lot of time researching this and its been in some friends books It is shameful that the savages were more "Christ" like then many Christians back then. 

LAHnTAH0812
by Bronze Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM
1 mom liked this
it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.


Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
purpleducky
by Silver Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM
2 moms liked this

Well seeing that he showed interest in wanting to be a girl before my wife or I came out it is unlikely. As for him having a normal life...what is normal? No one is really normal. We all have our own issues. He has a great life though.

Quoting LAHnTAH0812:

it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.


Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.



FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM
5 moms liked this


Quoting LAHnTAH0812:

it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.


Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.


Instead of replying with any type of educated response, you immediately go for the lack of intelligence, lack of any thing other than your weak own personal opinion on the matter.


krysstizzle
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM
2 moms liked this

Blech. Idiocy and ignorance.

I could respond with something like "You're so ignorant, backward, and hateful. Way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal, loving life!", but I won't...

Quoting LAHnTAH0812:

it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.


Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.



mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:14 PM
2 moms liked this

You ma'am, suck. Royally. Define normal. You can't, it doesn't exist. Mind your own damn business. 

Quoting LAHnTAH0812:
it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.
Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is.

purpleducky
by Silver Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM
3 moms liked this

Awww, all the love. Thanks guys!!

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM
4 moms liked this

"Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider is chaos for the fly" - Morticia Adams 

Quoting krysstizzle:

Blech. Idiocy and ignorance.

I could respond with something like "You're so ignorant, backward, and hateful. Way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal, loving life!", but I won't...

Quoting LAHnTAH0812:

it COULDN'T be because he's growing up with two transgender parents, right?
way to give your kid ZERO chance at a normal life.
Quoting purpleducky:

I already knew this. When I started researching transgender again as an adult I discovered the two-spirited term. I thought it was really interseting and it makes sense. Then again, I think that is what my son is

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN