Pride Month: Honoring The Legacy Of Two-Spirits

It’s Pride Month. (Also, today is Alan Turing’s birthday!) In celebration of that, I thought I write a little bit about two-spirits.

Two-spirit is the English, panindian word for gender non-conforming indigenous people. One might like to think that LGBTQ+ folks are a new, modern thing. But two-spirit people have existed in Native communities for as long as tribes have existed themselves and, in many tribes, traditionally two-spirit people were accepted–even, sometimes, considered special or spiritually powerful.

Due to colonialism and its policies of forced assimilation, the diversity that was known in many tribes was forced into heteropatriarchy. Thus, many tribes lost the sense that two-spirit people should be loved and respected.

These days, however, things are changing. Tribal people are more accepting of two-spirit people again.

So, just remember, Pride didn’t start on this continent with white folks. And just as tribal nations have accepted and loved two-spirit people, so too can we love and accept LGBTQ+ folks–whatever their heritage, background, culture or nationality.