Two-Spirit (2spirit)

Two-Spirit (2spirit)

(adjective / noun)

These are LGBTQIA+ people of North American indigenous descent. Two-Spirit identities are directly linked to indigenous spiritual and/or religious belief systems that vary from tribe to tribe. It is therefore an exclusive gender and people who are not indigenous to Turtle Island should not use this term for themselves; doing so is considered appropriative. Two-Spirit individuals do not identify with either heterosexual orientation, cisgender identity, or both. Two-Spirit people, historically, were respected spiritual leaders among their tribal nations up until the colonization of North America though some tribes have spiritual and religious belief systems that do not support the idea of two-spirit identities at all.

Two-Spirit people may or may not transition physically, legally, or socially. Categorically, people with two-spirit gender identities are considered to be under the indigender, non-binary, and transgender umbrellas but may or may not identify with those terms individually. Those decisions are based on their understanding of their relationship with gender and their access to transitioning within their culture.

e.g. James went to a powwow specifically for two-spirit people.

Further reading to gain expanded context:

The Healing History Of Two-Spirit | Huffpo

Why Non-Natives Appropriating “Two-Spirit” Hurts | Black Girl Dangerous

8 Things You Should Know About Two Spirit People | Indian Country Today

A Letter to White People Using the Term “Two Spirit” | Conspire for Change

Two-Spirit Resources Directory | Native Youth Sexual Health Network

Indigenous Identity and the Significance of the Term Two-Spirit | them.us


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