Many had separate words for the Western constructs of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, intersex individuals, cross-dressers, transgenders, gender-variant individuals, or "changing ones," third genders (men who live as women), and fourth genders (women who live as men) Even these categories are limiting, because they are based on Western language and ideas rooted in a dichotomous relationship between gender, sex, and sexuality. In an interview she says, "I identify as queer, and not two-spirited, because I’m Mohawk and we don’t have that" and that Neil Gaiman (author of the novels on which the series is based) advocated strongly for her to be cast in the role. )[6], Even at the series of conferences where the term was gradually adopted (1990 being the third of five), concern was expressed by a number of the Native attendees that traditional Natives back in the reservation communities would never agree to this newly-coined concept, or adopt the neologism being used to describe it. Two spirit. Their mates were not considered ikwekaazo or ininiikaazo, however, because their function in society was still in keeping with their sex. De Vries writes, "Berdache is a derogatory term created by Europeans and perpetuated by anthropologists and others to define Native American/First Nations people who varied from Western norms that perceive gender, sex, and sexuality as binaries and inseparable. [28], The increasing visibility of the two-spirit concept in mainstream culture has been seen as both empowering and as having some undesirable consequences, such as the spread of misinformation about the cultures of Indigenous people, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation of Indigenous identities and ceremonial ways among non-Natives who do not understand that Indigenous communities see two-spirit as a specifically Native American and First Nations cultural identity, not one to be taken up by non-Natives. This was seen as a form of cultural appropriation. [1][2][4] Opinions vary as to whether or not this objective has succeeded. [12], When Indigenous people from communities that are less-accepting of two-spirits have sought community among non-Native LGBT communities, however, the tendency for non-Natives to tokenize and appropriate has at times led to rifts rather than unity, with two-spirits feeling like they are just another tacked on initial rather than fully included. [34] It is based on membership in a particular community, cultural fluency, citizenship, and Native American and First Nations people may or may not even consider themselves to be "people of color". “Between tradition and controversy, sex and spirit, and freedom and fear, lives the truth—the bravest choice you can make is to be yourself.” TWO SPIRITS was screened at the White House for a special event with President Obama in celebration of LGBTQ and Two Spirit people. This is not meant to be a formal definition of two-spirit like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is The term Two Spirit is an umbrella term across American Indian and First Nations cultures for a person who embodies both male and female spirits within them, hence Two Spirit. Historically, two-spirited people especially suffered under white colonization and the abusive American Indian boarding schools in the 19th-20th centuries, which made them choose a gender and its roles rather than live as a third gender. [8][4] Additionally, not all contemporary Indigenous communities are supportive of their gender-variant and non-heterosexual people now. The increasing visibility of the two-spirit concept in mainstream culture has been seen as both empowering and as having some undesirable consequences, such as the spread of misinformation about the cultures of Indigenous people, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriationof Indigenous identities and ceremonial ways among non-Natives who do not understand that Indigenous communities see two-spirit as a specifically Native American and First Nations cultural identity, not one to be taken up by non-Nativ… [6][9], Cameron writes, "The term two-spirit is thus an Aboriginal-specific term of resistance to colonization and non-transferable to other cultures. 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