Alternative Gender Status: Two Spirits

Alternative Gender Status: Two Spirits

Before Christianity hit, what is nowadays, the USA the Native Americans used to know more than two genders, they came up with about five. We feel that is such a great concept; it seems like less fuss to have more genders than only two, more accurate and even more sophisticated. All these ancient genders can be compared to todays LBGTQ (but they are a) Community and, as we all know, are not seen as actual genders like the Two Spirited persons.

Alternative Gender Status: Two Spirits

<We’wha, a Zuni Lhamana (Two-Spirit), circa 1886. (photographer unknown The Library at The College of Staten Island of the City University of New York)

We’wha (1849–1896) was a Zuni Native American from New Mexico. She was the most famous lhamana, a traditional Zuni gender role, now described as mixed-gender or Two-Spirit. Read the story of We’wha here on Wikipedia

“Two Spirits refers to a person who has both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some First Nations people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. As an umbrella term it may encompass same-sex attraction and a wide variety of gender variance, including people who might be described in Western culture as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, gender queer, cross-dressers or who have multiple gender identities.” (read more lgbtqhealth.ca)

Two Spirits is the term for people which are neither men nor women to the Native Americans, for people who occupied a distinct, alternative gender status. In tribes where male and female two spirits were referred to with the same term, this status amounted to a third gender. In other cases, female two spirits were referred to with a distinct term and, therefore, constituted a fourth gender.” (read more: Two Spirits, One Heart, Five Genders. Written by Duane Brayboy on indiancountrymedianetwork.com

Read Winyanktehca: Two-souls person (the paper presented to the European Network of Professionals in Transsexualism in August 1994) by Marjorie Anne Napewastewiñ Schützer, MA psy. http://www.gender.org.uk/conf/trilogy/winkte.htm

Thahanks Ms Feduzzi for pointing out this topic to us at Mimi Berlin!

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