Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Spirited

Recently, I listened to a 27 minute CBC Radio documentary on the idea of "two-spirited" people in aboriginal cultures. Listen to it here.   It is the fifth in the list of "Past Episodes." In my workplace, "aboriginal" is the politically-correct term to use for the original inhabitants of North America. Other terms include First Nations, native, American Indian and Canadian Indian/

The concept of two-spirited people is a native tradition that existed for thousands of years in all North American aboriginal cultures. Prior to colonization, they believed in the existence of cross-gender roles, the male-female, the female-male.  The term "two-spirited person" in the aboriginal culture was invented in the early 90s;  it is just an aboriginal-specific version of the term LGBT.

"These individuals were looked upon as a third and fourth gender.  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." Source: Sandra Laframboise and Michael Anhorn

When the bible-thumping religious types came to North America to "convert the heathen" several hundred years ago, they worked to destroy the idea of two-spirited people along with many other aspects of aboriginal culture. I know that none of the religious nut-jobs are reading this blog, but they should consider this:

  • The fact that two-spirited people existed for thousands of years in all aboriginal cultures certainly would disprove the idea that being gay is a "choice."
  • Two-spirited people were revered and elevated in their aboriginal societies, not scorned, harassed, killed or stripped of their dignity and rights.
Which society was more "civilized?" Which society got it right?

Check out this YouTube clip of sexy native men:


  1. I'm sure I'll set them back a few hundred years, but there's nothing hotter than a barefoot, loin-clothed indian on a horse... Yum!!!

  2. Fascinating. I had never heard of this before, thanks for sharing.

    I'm sure there will always be a pool of nut jobs who believe homosexuality is a choice, but I think one of the reasons we homos are receiving wider acceptance is because more and more people are realizing that it's not a choice. I think even Dick Cheney realizes that and OMG is he ever a nut job.

  3. D@vd. I agree! I can't help but focus on those muscular thighs gripping the back of the horse. Sorry, I couldn't find any pics of this.

    I've often wondered about the chafing experienced by the studly Indian brave wearing a loincloth while straddling a horse. No wonder they were always going, "Woo-woo-woo-woo!", charging across the plains.

    TwoLives: I never hear the "homosexuality is a lifestyle choice" view expressed in Canada (although I'm sure it's here too.) I'm sure having a lesbian daughter contributed to Cheney's change of heart regarding LGBT folk.... a good thing.

  4. anne marie in phillyAugust 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    VERY interesting, buddybear! never knew this; thanks for sharing!

  5. A few years back a friend posted a piece on the NEED for homosexuals in a society. They were needed for their intuitiveness and their sensitivy. That is way from an evolutionary standpoint they survived.

  6. Very interesting - a profound enlightenment. Thanks for bringing this up and making us aware! Great info!

  7. It's always existed - it's as old as time itself....It's not a choice...I know for me, sometimes I wish it was easier , to embrace who I am took way too long - now I love myself for it - part of this is due to the blogging friends I've met - they made me not seem so alone!

  8. I knew I was different when I was a six year old - I just didn't know the term for it then. And then when I did, I was like "Ah-ha!".

    Of course, I've never put up with any bullshit when it came to who I am. I JUST AM. Period.

  9. This is shocking: I read once that when the Europeans 'discovered' America and found that two spirit people were revered by the native americans, they rounded them up and killed them all.

  10. Wow, Cubby! I didn't know that! That is typical of the so-called "Christians" to do that. The religious wing-nuts would probably want to do the same today if they could.


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