Indigenous peoples, sexuality and gender
October 12, 2015 9:30 AM   Subscribe

 
Is there more to this story than what is on the direct linked page? It seems a bit thin and I can't tell if there's links to more info on that page that I am glossing over.
posted by Ferreous at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2015


There has been some discussion of Two Spirit culture and history at Indian Country Today. Link 1, link 2.
posted by workerant at 10:17 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cool link, thanks for posting! My student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, just did a neat piece about some folks on/around campus who are helping to revive the two-spirit tradition.
posted by dialetheia at 10:30 AM on October 12, 2015


When two-spirit and other participants arrived to take part in the ceremony, the person leading the ceremony demanded that some in the group change their clothing to conform with what he perceived their gender to be and added the warning that if he suspected that they had dressed inappropriate to their perceived gender, they would be required to prove their gender identity to him.

This guy would fit in just perfectly at the TSA.
posted by Splunge at 11:32 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The multicultural variations of gender are fascinating. Thanks for posting this!
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:33 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think there's a frequent misconception that because Two-Spirits (or hijras or kathooeys) are a known phenomenon, that they're accepted, and thus these cultures are more progressive than white Westerners. It's part of the Noble Savage idea. I have not to my knowledge known someone who was Two Spirit but I have known LGB Natives and they were terribly mistreated (obviously this is going to vary from tribe to tribe).
posted by desjardins at 2:30 PM on October 12, 2015


I know a queer native political activist whose twitter profile describes him as "two spirits for the price of one!", which is pretty great.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:32 PM on October 12, 2015


Also, it's so cool to see more than one post about indigenous peoples today. It wouldn't be half bad if mefi formally celebrated the second Monday in October the same way that Seattle and a few other decent cities do.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:47 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


desjardins, I agree with you, to a point. It's certainly true of people who grew up in my generation. However, the rise of social media has really connected a lot of younger Native Americans across tribes/nations that would never have been exposed to each other previously. Their voices are being heard more. It's a process, but attitudes are changing.
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:47 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


From an Australian perspective, mistreatment of LGB and transgender indigenous people in Australia within and by their communities is considered to be a result of colonialisation and church teachings. Aceptance of LGB and sistergirls and brotherboys is being communicated as part of the processes of recapturing culture. It is also a really nice place where white and black experiences can intersect.
posted by Thella at 3:12 PM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think there's a frequent misconception that because Two-Spirits (or hijras or kathooeys) are a known phenomenon, that they're accepted, and thus these cultures are more progressive than white Westerners. It's part of the Noble Savage idea.

This is seriously complicated, though, by the fact that the intrusion of colonialism and imposed European Christian value systems into indigenous cultures frequently caused these identities to be stigmatized in a way they weren't traditionally. (Or, on preview, what Thella already said.) Lately I've been reading about how this happened to the mahu social role in Polynesia. I definitely agree that the "noble savage" concept and the idea that some cultures are "naturally" progressive is destructive, but it's important to note that a number of Native people are reclaiming these gender concepts because for generations they were actively suppressed.
posted by thetortoise at 3:56 AM on October 13, 2015


Thanks for the additional information!
posted by desjardins at 11:49 AM on October 13, 2015


“Coming in” does not centre on the declaration of independence that characterizes ‘coming out’ in mainstream depictions of the lives of LGBTQI people. Rather, coming in is an act of returning, fully present in our selves, to resume our place as a valued part of our families, cultures, communities, and lands, in connection with all our relations.

I love this.
posted by naoko at 10:28 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


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