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.
Check out this YouTube clip of sexy native men: