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TWO SPIRIT - HOMOSEXUALITY IN NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES


by Matthew Barry

Homosexuality was common in Native American cultures, as well as cultures throughout the world. Every tribe had a different name for it, but the names all translate to "Two Spirits." The Native American People looked upon these unique individuals (Two Spirit People) as something special the Great Mystery created to teach us. "These people had something special to tell us."

The Two Spirits in most Native cultures have traditionally lived between the sexes, claiming both male and female, and were typically healers, prophets, teacher and spiritual leaders and advisors, shamans, peacemakers or arbitrators, name givers, and were special and honored persons in the tribe.

Two Spirit people, specifically male-bodied (biologically male, gender female), could go to war and have access to male activities such as sweat lodges. However, they also took on female roles such as cooking and other domestic responsibilities. Female-bodied Two Spirits could be warriors and hunt with the men.

If you were born a male, but came back from your first vision quest at 13 years and said your vision told you to live as a woman, your choice was honored. You even got a new name celebrating your choice! Likewise the woman who said she wanted to live as a man, love as a man, even fight as a man, was able to do that freely.

In the traditional tribal sense, Two Spirit roles have often been ones associated with great respect and spiritual power. Rather than being viewed as an aberration, the role was seen as one, which bridged the gap between the temporal and spirit worlds. The spiritual aspect of the Two Spirit role was emphasized far more than the homosexual or gender variant aspect. Because of this, Two Spirits were highly valued by the people of the tribe. Two Spirits have the reputation of being the cleverest people, the sort who would be good at gambling.

IMPORTANT: In contradiction, men who showed cowardice in battle could be forced to assume the role of women upon pain of death. These men were not considered Two Spirits, nor were they held in any other status than contempt.  Europeans did not made a distinction between them.



American Bison display homosexual behaviors, males much more so than females. In the case of males, it is not related to dominance but rather to social bonding and gaining sexual experience.1, 2

Native American Peoples, their Traditions, their Culture, have a symbiotic relationship with their Environment, with Nature and the Elements, and they have great respect for these things.  When you live in Harmony with your environment, then it is more likely that you will live in harmony in your community.  When they observed homosexual behavior in the Bison and elsewhere in the Animal Kingdom, then homosexuality would naturally be accepted within their own communities.

1Ref: Homosexual Behavior in Bison/Buffalo: Vervaecke H, Roden C. "Going with the herd: same-sex interaction and competition in American bison". In: Sommer V, Vasey PL, (editors).
2Ref: Homosexual behavior in animals. Cambridge University Press; 2006. pp. 131–53 ISBN 0-521-86446-1.




It is important to know that most of the anthropological records of the western world were collected at a time when the Western observers were very highly biased and would have reported that which was the most obvious and Heathen, which was Gender reversal roles.  Not so easily observed would be same-sex sex without Two-Spirit identification, which was likely to have been occurring, but not observed by the Western observers.

Much of the anthropological records of the western world have adopted the term "berdache" to describe the "Two Spirit," but this is actually considered insulting by traditional Native Americans.  Therefore, I have substituted the term "berdache" with "Two Spirit." ""Berdache" was a term coined by the French for Two Spirit" members of tribe, meant "kept boy; male prostitute, catamite," from the Arabic bardaj.



The Arapaho of the plains believe the role existed due to supernatural gifts from birds or animals. The Creation story of the Colorado Mohave "speaks of a time when people were not sexually differentiated". In the Omaha language, the term for Two Spirit meant, "Instructed by the Moon." Many myths warned not to try to interfere with the fulfillment of the role. Consequences could be dire and sometimes resulted in death.

In a similar vein, the belief was strong that no one should not resist spiritual guidance when lead to follow the Two Spirit path. This, combined with a level of respect sometimes bordering on fear, lead to acceptance with blind faith that the Two Spirit was indeed a gift to the tribe; someone to be honored and cherished.

Many tribes believed that the person was lead by a spiritual experience into the role. A boy was never forced into the role but rather was allowed to explore his natural inclination. They often went through some sort of ceremony to determine their path. Because Two Spirit were believed to have great spiritual vision, they were often viewed as prophets.

The following sentence seems to sum up the overall feeling of the Native American about differences among their people. "By the Indian view, someone who is different offers advantages to society precisely because he or she is freed from the restrictions of the usual. It is a different window from which to view the world."

In 1971 a Sioux shaman interviewed a winkte (Two Spirit). "He told me that if nature puts a burden on a man by making him different, it also gives him a power". The Zapotec Indians around the Oaxaca area in Mexico, staunchly defend their Two Spirit's right to adopt different gender and sex roles because "God made them that way." The emphasis in defining the role is placed on the person's character and spirit and not on the sexual aspects.



Alternative gender roles were among the most widely shared features of North American societies. Male Two Spirits have been documented in over 155 tribes. In about a third of these groups, a formal status also existed for females who undertook a man's lifestyle, becoming hunters, warriors, and chiefs. They were sometimes referred to with the same term for male Two Spirits and sometimes with a distinct term-making them, therefore, a fourth gender. Thus, "third gender" generally refers to male berdaches and sometimes male and female Two Spirits, while "fourth gender" always refers to female Two Spirits.

Each tribe, of course, had its own terms for these roles, such as boté in Crow, nádleehí in Navajo, winkte in Lakota, and alyha and hwame in Mohave. Because so many North American cultures were disrupted (or had disappeared) before they were studied by anthropologists, it is not possible to state the absolute frequency of these roles. Those alternative gender roles that have been documented, however, occur in every region of the continent, in every kind of society, and among speakers of every major language group. The number of tribes in which the existence of such roles have been denied (by informants or outsider observers) are quite few. Far greater are those instances in which information regarding the presence of gender diversity has simply not been recorded.

The "Two Spirit" concept also extends to: Native Africans Tribes (Ambo, Bagasu, Basongye, Lebou, Lubbara, Maale, Mbo, Shatt, swahili, Wolof, Zulu), Korea, Siberia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Turkic (Central Asia), Arabic, Ottoman, Singapore, Borneo, Sulawesi, Cook Islands, Hawaii, Maori, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, & Tuvalu.  
  
A Gay (Two Spirit) Shaman, of both the male and female spirits, would be better able to act on the spiritual plain, for both the male and female members of the tribe.  Shamans exhibit a Two Spirit identity, assuming the dress and attributes of the opposite sex from a young age, for example, a man taking on the role of a wife in an otherwise ordinary marriage. This practice is common, and found among the Chukchi, Sea Dyak, Patagonians, Araucanians, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Navajo, Pawnee, Lakota, and Ute, as well as many other Native American tribes.  Indeed, these Two Spirited shamans were so widespread as to suggest a very ancient origin of the practice.

Traditionally, a person's sexual orientation also brought gifts of vision and understanding. People who were Two Spirited (i.e., homosexual) were considered to have a great gift of vision that went beyond most people's abilities. Because of the nature of the Two Spirited person, it was believed that they could understand and help solve problems that both women and men have individually or between each other.  

They possessed the ability to see an issue from both perceptions. Two Spirited people were not only considered normal, but a vital and much needed part of the natural world and of the community as a whole.

In the traditional tribal sense, these roles have often been ones associated with great respect and spiritual power. Rather than being viewed as an aberration, the role was seen as one, which bridged the gap between the temporal and spirit worlds. The spiritual aspect of the "Two Spirit" role was emphasized far more than the homosexual or gender variant aspect. Because of this, "Two Spirits" were highly valued by the people of the tribe.   

Besides their spiritual abilities, their capacity for work also figured into the high status of Two Spirit people. Even though a Two Spirit male would have taken on the gender identity of a woman, he would still have the endurance and strength of a man. Thus his productivity was greater than that of most women, and for that reason also he would have been valued as a marriage partner. Other characteristics that Natives associate with Two Spirit people and that help explain their desirability as partners are a highly developed ability to relate to and teach children, a generous nature, and exceptional intellectual and artistic skills.



BECOMING Two Spirit

The role of Two Spirit was determined during childhood. Parents would watch a child who seemed to have a tendency toward living as Two Spirit and would assist him in pursuing it rather than discouraging him. At some point, usually around puberty, a ceremony would be performed which would formalize a boy's adoption of the role. One ceremony commonly practiced involved placing a man's bow and arrow and a woman's baskets in a brush enclosure. The boy went inside the enclosure that was then set on fire. What he took with him as he ran to escape the flames was believed to be indicative of his spiritual guidance to follow or not to follow the Two Spirit path.

The Hočąk word for "Two Spirit" was teją´čowįga, "blue ocean woman." A young man became a Two Spirit if during his fasting vision quest, he was blessed by Moon and ordered by this spirit to "take up the skirt." If he failed to do this, it was thought that the moon would take his life. Part of his blessing was the power to foresee the future, and the virtue of being able to excel anyone in the performance of women's duties.

If you were born a male, but came back from your first vision quest at age 13 years and said your vision told you to live as a woman, your choice was honored. You even got a new name celebrating your choice! Likewise the woman who said she wanted to live as a man, love as a man, even fight as a man, was able to do that freely.

It is important to remember that Indians do not consider this role one that is a matter of personal choice. They generally believe that one who follows the path is following his own spiritual guidance. The important feature here is living a life true to one's spiritual path. In most cases, a person assumes Two Spirit status for life, but in the case of a nineteenth-century Klamath Two Spirit named Lele'ks, the role was abandoned. He began wearing men's clothing, acting like a man and married a woman. His reason for doing so was because he had been instructed to do so by the Spirits.

Following spiritual direction is the key issue in assumption or abandonment of the role. "Of those who became Two Spirits, the other Indians would say that since he had been 'claimed by a Holy Woman,' nothing could be done about it. Such persons might be pitied because of the spiritual responsibilities they held, but they were treated as mysterious and holy, and were respected as benevolent people who assisted others in time of starvation."

If a child was born with ambiguous genitalia "nádleehés in Navajo", the child's gender was decided by depending on either their inclination toward either masculine or feminine activities, or their intersex status. Puberty was about the time by which clothing choices were made to physically display their gender choice.  The genitally ambiguous twins born to First Man and First Woman -- Navaho nádleehés were sanctioned by a spiritual precedent, and they were regarded as holy and sacred. They were permitted any form of sexual intercourse with either sex.



SAME SEX RELATIONS

As opposed to European views of sexuality, Native Americans experience sex as more than a means of reproduction. It is also an activity to be enjoyed and appreciated. Sexual pleasure is considered a gift from the spirit world. As a result, most traditional tribes felt no inhibition in regard to sexual relations. Children were exposed to the sight of adults having sex and some ceremonies involved sex on an orgy level. Additionally, sexual contact was not necessarily limited to one's spouse or to the opposite sex; thus same sex activity was not the exclusive realm of the Two Spirit.

There are some characteristics of the sexual practices of Two Spirit, which differ from those of other same sex relationships. Two Spirit almost always observe an incest taboo which involves the avoidance of sex with another Two Spirit. One explanation for this is that sexual partner of the Two Spirit must, by nature, be masculine. This belief is consistent with the emphasis on the gender aspects of the role rather than the sexual aspects. It also dovetails with the information on Two Spirit marriages to masculine men. In these unions, the Two Spirit is considered a wife and is valued by the husband not only for the domestic duties the Two Spirit performs, but also for the socially acceptable homosexual relationship.

In a sense, Native American cultures have institutionalized and socially sanctioned homosexual relations by utilizing the Two Spirit role as the preferred same sex partner. When men want to have male/male sex, they are encouraged to do so with a Two Spirit.

The usual sexual behavior of the Two Spirit is to take the passive role in anal intercourse. At times they may indulge in oral sex or take the active role in anal intercourse, but this is not widely talked about. If a Two Spirit wishes to take an active role, it is usually done only in secret and with a partner who can be trusted not to talk. This is also true of the feelings of the man involved with a Two Spirit. If he wishes to assume the passive role, he will try to keep the activity secret.

Two Spirit frequently are available for sex with both unmarried adolescent boys and married men who occasionally seek out same sex partners. Because of this, female prostitution is not needed. Traditional Two Spirit were also available as sexual partners during hunts and in war parties. This was yet another reason why they were welcomed on these excursions.

A man having sex with a Make-bodied Two Spirit was not considered homosexual, because the Two Spirit man would be consider of female spirit.  But he could also be sexual with a woman and not be consider as homosexual, because then he would be in male sexual spirit. Two Spirits can move between male and female spirits if the with.  It would have been rare for one Male-bodied Two Spirit to be sexual with another Male-bodied Two Spirit, although it coulees be justified as one taking the female spirit and one taking the male spirit.



The following is how the NAVAJO did it:

Male-bodied Two-Spirit = Homosexual Man
Female-bodied Two-Spitit = Homosexual Woman

A Male-bodied Two-Spirit was considered the equivalent of being a woman, and a
Female-bodied Two-Spitit was considered the equivalent of being a man, therefore:

A male-bodied Two Spirit with a heterosexual male would be considered a heterosexual relationship. This was the most common relationship.

A female-bodied two-spirit a heterosexual woman would be considered a heterosexual relationship. This was the most common relationship.

Interestingly, the following would be considered a homosexual relationship:
  • A male-bodied Two Spirit with a female-bodied two-spirit
  • A male-bodied Two Spirit with a male-bodied Two Spirit
  • A male-bodied Two Spirit with a heterosexual Female
  • A female-bodied two-spitit with a female-bodied two-spitit
  • A female-bodied two-spirit with a heterosexual male



SPIRITUAL SANCTION

The traditional Two Spirit was known for living within a strong moral code. Their ethics were above reproach and they were valued as peacemakers and settlers of disputes. They accepted the duties of the role and tried to exceed the expectations of others in how well they performed. Not only were they adept at settling disagreements among tribe members, but they also could act as intercessors between the physical and the spiritual world.

The tribes held them in great esteem and were quite respectful and often frightened by their connection with the spirit world. This seems to be one reason traditional Two Spirit were not harassed or bothered. Most tribes believed it very dangerous to attempt to interact with the spiritual realm and felt fortunate to have a Two Spirit in their midst to perform that task.

There are descriptions of Two Spirited individuals having strong mystical powers. In one account, raiding soldiers of a rival tribe begin to attack a group of foraging women when they perceive that one of the women, the one that does not run away, is a Two Spirit. They halt their attack and retreat after the Two Spirit counters them with a stick, determining that the Two Spirit will have great power which they will not be able to overcome.

Although Two Spirit often fulfilled the role of caring for the sick and wounded, they were not usually shaman, but rather ones to whom the shaman would turn for guidance. As a Lakota stated, "Winktes can be medicine men, but are usually not because they already have the power."

Two Spirit were closely associated with dreams and visions. In some cultures dreams were believed simply to guide the person and, as such were considered a benevolent force. In others, such as the Maricopa, adoption of the Two Spirit role was associated with "too much" dreaming.

Among the Plains tribes, it was the Two Spirit who was assigned to bless the sacred pole for the Sun Dance ceremony, the most important religious rite of the culture. Their association with anything on a spiritual plane brought luck to the ritual or the person involved. Two Spirit are often in charge of preparing the dead for burial. Among the Yokuts, tongochim were so esteemed, they were allowed to keep any of the deceased's belongings they chose.

In the Potawatomi tribe if a Two Spirit groomed the hair of a man going on a hunt, it was thought to provide "special spiritual advantage and protection for the hunter." Although they could be among the most gentle and loving members of a group, if crossed, they could become vindictive and formidable foes, a characteristic, which underscores the mystery and power of the role.

In relation to the spiritual nature of the role, people approached their relationships with the Two Spirit, as they would have with a deity, with awe, respect and a sense of acceptance without needing to fully understand.



SPECIALIZED WORK ROLES AND GENDER DIFFERENCE

Two Spirits were sometimes viewed in certain tribes as having two spirits occupying one body. Their dress is usually a mixture of traditionally male and traditionally female articles. They have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes.

Two Spirited individuals perform specific social functions in their communities. In some tribes male-bodied Two Spirits held specific active roles which, varying by tribe, may include:
  • healers or medicine persons
  • gravediggers, undertakers, handling and burying of the deceased (Bankalachi, Mono, Yokuts)
  • burial festivities (Achomawai, Atsugewi, Bankalachi, Mono, Tübatulabal, Yokuts, Oglala Lakota, Timucua)
  • conduct mourning rites (Yokuts)
  • conduct sexual rites
  • conveyers of oral traditions and songs (Yuki)
  • nurses during war expeditions (Cheyenne, Achomawi, Oglala Lakota, Huchnom, Karankawa, Timucua)
  • foretold the future (Winnebago, Oglala Lakota)
  • conferred lucky names on children or adults (Oglala Lakota, Papago)
  • weaving and basketry (Zuni, Navajo, Papago, Klamath, Kato, Lassik, Pomo, Yuki)
  • made pottery (Zuni, Navajo, Papago)
  • made beadwork and quillwork (Oglala Lakota, Ponca)
  • matchmaking (Cheyenne, Omaha, Oglala Lakota)
  • mediator between lovers or married persons (Navajo)
  • made feather regalia for dances (Maidu)
  • special skills in games of chance
  • ceremonial roles during and leading scalp-dances (Cheyenne)
  • fulfilled special functions in connection with the Sun Dance (Crow, Hidatsa, Oglala Lakota)

In some tribes female-bodied Two Spirits typically took on roles such as:
  • chief, council
  • trader
  • hunter, trapper, fisher
  • warrior, raider
  • guides
  • peace missions
  • vision quests, prophets
  • medicine persons

Two Spirits commonly married widowers; a male-bodied Two Spirit could perform the function of parenting the children of her husband's late wife without any risk of bearing new children to whom she might give priority.

Two Spirits excel in weaving, beadwork, and pottery; arts associated almost solely with the women of the tribe. We'Wha, a famous Zuni Two Spirit was an accomplished weaver and potter as well as a sash and blanket maker. Her pottery was sold for twice that of other potters in the village. Two Spirit men are also involved with cooking, tanning, saddle-making, farming, gardening, raising children, basket-making.

One notable attribute of the Two Spirit is that the work of these people is greatly prized both within and without the tribe. "To tell a woman that her craft-work is as a good as a Two Spirit's is not sexist, but rather the highest compliment."  Because of their superior quality, work done by the Two Spirit is highly valued by collectors and tribal members as well. There is a belief that some of the spiritual power of the maker has been transferred to the craft itself. Some believe that the exquisite art is itself a manifestation of that power.

In addition to craftwork, Two Spirit are known to be strong family and community members. They were traditionally considered assets to the tribe and were sources of great pride. A man raised with his Two Spirit cousin said, "The boy lived as though he had some higher understanding of life."

Many Two Spirits adopt children and are known to be excellent parents and teachers. Native Americans as a whole readily accept adoption of children and traditionally share in child rearing among their kin. They excel at cooking, cleaning and all other domestic duties. Many, such as We'Wha took great pride in being able to provide their families with the ultimate in comfort, nourishment and nurturing.

Throughout the literature there are references to the Two Spirit finding no greater purpose than that of serving his fellow tribesmen. Hastiin Klah, a famous Navajo shaman and Two Spirit was written about with much love and respect by the wealthy Bostonian, Mary Cabot Wheelwright. "I grew to respect and love him for his real goodness, generosity-and holiness, for there is no other word for it…. When I knew him he never kept anything for himself. It was hard to see him almost in rags at his ceremonies, but what was given to him he seldom kept, passing it on to someone who needed it… Everything was the outward form of the spirit world that was very real to him."

In terms of child rearing and education, the Two Spirit fulfill an important role. They not only adopt children of their own; they are often involved with the care of other's children. One of the best examples of this is within the Zuni culture. All adult members consider themselves responsible for the behavior of all the children within the tribe. An adult passing the misbehaving child of another will correct the child. We'Wha was reported to have benefited from this as a child herself and became noted for her excellent way with children as she matured and became a Two Spirit.

Today, the practice of Two Spirits being involved in child rearing persists and seems to be gaining importance in tribes where abuse and alcoholism abound. "Terry Calling Eagle, a Lakota Two Spirit, states, 'I love children, and I used to worry that I would be alone without children. The Spirit said he would provide some. Later, some kids of drunks who did not care for them were brought to me by neighbors. The kids began spending more and more time here, so finally the parents asked me to adopt them.'

After those children were raised, Terry was asked to adopt others. In all, he has raised seven orphan children, one of whom was living with him when I was there. This boy, a typical masculine seventeen-year-old, interacts comfortably with his winkte parent. After having been physically abused as a young child by alcoholic parents, he feels grateful for the stable, supportive atmosphere in his adoptive home."

The Two Spirit role is most often characterized by a tendency to a pacific temperament, but they were known to go to war or on hunts on a regular basis. Some cultures took the Two Spirit along to do the cooking, washing, caring for the camp and tending to the wounded.

Their presence among the warriors was valued because of their special spiritual powers. Occasionally, a Two Spirit would participate directly in warfare. This dispels the argument among early anthropologists that the role was adopted as a means of avoiding warfare. The Crow Two Spirit Osh-Tisch, which means Finds Them and Kills Them got his name by turning warrior for one day in 1876. He took part in an attack on the Lakota and was distinguished for his bravery.

Because of their unique position as neither male, nor female, Two Spirit would act as counselors for marital conflict. Among the Omaha tribe, they were even paid for this service. Two Spirit also performed the role of matchmaker. When a young man wanted to send gifts and get the attention of a young woman, the Two Spirit would often act as ago between with the girl's family.

One of the most notable aspects of the Two Spirit is their association with wealth and prosperity. Because they were not subject to menstruation, pregnancy or tied down to nursing infants, they were able to work during times when women could not. In addition, their greater musculature made them strong and able to endure long days of hard labor. They were known to do almost twice the work of a woman. "…the Two Spirit is ever ready for service, and is expected to perform the hardest labors of the female department. " When a man wished to marry a Two Spirit often her ability and inclination to work hard was a large part of the attraction.

Although there is much fluidity in alternate gender behavior, a Two Spirit reaches some absolutes when it comes to adopting biological female roles. This limitation has not eliminated attempts at mimicking such female biological processes such as menstruation and pregnancy. The Mohave alyha were known to have gone to great lengths to simulate mock pregnancies. They would self induce constipation and then "deliver" a stillborn fecal fetus. Appropriate mourning rites and burial were performed with the involvement of the alyha's husband.

Alyha also simulated menstruation through scratching their legs until they bled. They would then require their husbands to observe all the taboos associated with menstruation. They had never been observed attempting to nurse infants, however. Sometimes an alyha would fake a pregnancy to stop her husband from trying to leave or divorce her on the grounds of infertility.

Certainly one of the most entertaining stories associated with the berdache adoption of female dress and attitude comes from We'Wha. In 1886, she went to Washington DC to meet President Grover Cleveland accompanied by anthropologist and debutante, Matilda Coxe Stevenson. Because she passed easily as a woman, she was allowed into the ladies rooms and boudoirs of the elite. She delighted in telling the Zuni upon arriving home that "the white women were mostly frauds, taking out their false teeth and 'rats' from their hair." One woman gossiped, "To hear Mrs. Stevenson give Waywah's description of the way a society lady in Washington 'makes herself young again' was exceedingly amusing."



MAORI - NEW ZEALAND

This is from arion-stormsong (arion-stormsong.deviantart.com…)

I am a Maori (New Zealand Native) and prior to the arrival of Europeans we too had similar customs and beliefs surround takatapui (Same gender attraction). Takatapui were allowed to assume any roles within the community they desired be it Warrior, Tohunga (Shaman/Medicine Person) carver, farmer, wearver or any of the other varied activites necessary for the communities function and survival. I had thought our culture quite isolated in its acceptance but obviously not. It is very heartening to know other cultures of ancient origin understood and respected the necessary contributions of Two Spirit peoples to their way of life.



INTERNET REFERENCES

The World History of Male Love: www.gay-art-history.org/
The World History of Male Love: The Teo Spirit Tradition: www.gay-art-history.org/gay-hi… Spirit-native-american-gay.html
Beyond Beads and Feathers on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMU732…
A Native American Perspective on the Theory of Gender Continuum: www.gay-art-history.org/
Two Spirit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_spir…
Shamanism: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanis…

Two-Spirit Society of Denver www.denvertwospirit.com/
Directions in Gender Research in American Indian Societies: Two Spirits and Other Categories www.ac.wwu.edu/~culture/medici…
Berdache on glbtq.com www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/…
Indigenous Literature with a Queer/LGBT/Two-Spirit Sensibility oncampus.richmond.edu/faculty/…
International Two Spirit Gathering www.intltwospiritgathering.org…
The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture by Walter L. Williams www.ifge.org/books/spirit_and_…
Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo by Walter L. Williams & Toby Johnson www.tobyjohnson.com/twospirits…
The Two-Spirit Tradition collection of articles at the Androgyne Online site androgyne.0catch.com/2spiritx.…
In Search of "Berdache": Multiple Genders and Other Myths laurenhasten.com/berdache.htm#…

Androgyne Online androgyne.0catch.com/2spiritx.…
Berdache: Male and Female Sharing the Same Body www.healthyplace.com/gender/in…
The Berdache of Early American Conquest academic.reed.edu/english/cour…
Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association galva108.org/thirdgender.html
Review: Changing Ones www.whitecranejournal.com/wc01…
Shamanic Androgyny www.reconnections.net/androgyn…
Two Spirit: A Definition and a Vision www.baaits.org/page3.html
Two Spirited People www.mcgill.ca/interaction/miss…
What are Two Spirits/Berdaches? www.geocities.com/westhollywoo…
Zuni Berdache staff.jccc.net/scorbett01/ch8/…
2 Spirited People of the First Nations www.cfis.ca/2sp.html
The Berdache Spirit: nu-woman.com/berdache.htm

©Matthew Barry 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
TWO SPIRIT — HOMOSEXUALLY IN NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES

Homosexuality was common in Native American cultures, as well as cultures throughout the world. Every tribe had a different name for it, but the names all translate to “Two Spirits.”

The role and traditions of Sexual Minorities in tribes varied. Alas, we have very little information about most tribes, because Christianity systematically worked to destroy Native American cultural Traditions, and many, many tribes were lost to us completely by the actions of the white man in the Americas.

The Two Spirits in most Native cultures have traditionally lived between the sexes, claiming both male and female, and were typically healers, prophets, teacher and spiritual leaders and advisors, shamans, peacemakers or arbitrators, name givers, and were special and honored persons in the tribe.

When Christianity was forced on Native Americans by stealing Native American Children and forcing them through Christian Schools to strip them of their "barbaric" and "heathen" culture, HATE for the Two Spirits came to the Native American peoples.

This is the story of TWO SPIRITS, the Homosexuals, Bisexuals, and Transgendered of the native American Tribes.

In the near future, I hope to post a brief history of GBLTs in the Ancient Greek and Roman Empires.



AMERICAN SHAME

In the 19th Century, Native American children were forcibly removed from their parents and sent to Re-education camps where they attempted to stamp-out all traced of "Heathen Practices." Both Churches and Government wanted CULTURAL CLEANSING of Native Americans to bring them into

Any use of native language resulted in beating and public whippings. Crying for parents was punished. One survivor tells us how the nuns nailed her younger brother to the wooden plank dining table overnight when he wouldn’t eat a dinner of stewed onions.

The children were forced to beg in the street for money to help support the Mission Schools.

The American Indian boarding school era began in the late 19th century during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant. Boarding schools, where Indian children underwent acculturation into white society, were touted as an economical alternative solution to the nation’s “Indian problem” (as opposed to outright war).

Under Grant’s Peace Policy of 1869, thousands of American Indian children as young as 5 years old were taken from their families and subjected to a life of harsh discipline and CULTURAL CLEANSING.

The schools were modeled after a prison school created by Captain Richard H. Pratt for Indian prisoners of war in Florida and were usually operated with military precision. Pratt’s philosophy of rigid order became the desired model. Punishment was swiftly meted out for offenses such as displaying any Indian tendencies. Students’ mouths were scrubbed out with lye soap for uttering any words in their native language. Children were virtual prisoners at the schools, forbidden to visit their parents, forced into hard labor, and subjected to a host of abuses including physical and sexual abuse by school officials and other students.

Since the schools usually functioned with limited funds, children frequently died from starvation or preventable diseases. Pratt’s philosophy to “kill the Indian to save the man” was widely embraced as a more humane, Christian solution for controlling the Indian population. Native children were trained to become “useful, contributing” members of the new America as domestic servants – the only role for which they were deemed fit. This policy of forced acculturation was supported by the U.S. government, which appropriated funds for more than 400 such schools.

The system continued well into the 20th century. By the mid-1930s, schools began to slowly improve. By the 1970s the schools began to recognize the merits of including native culture in curriculum, and gradually became less coercive. Although most of today’s Indian boarding schools are located on reservations and operated by tribes, the schools are plagued with a lack of funding, alcohol and substance abuse, and high suicide rates among students according to the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that at least 60 percent of Bureau of Indian Affairs schools have inadequate funding.
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:iconredwolf76:
RedWolf76 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
amazing!
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsupper-is-ready:
supper-is-ready Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's nice to see all these informations in one place, a helpful and well-written thing. :)
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you.  The term Two-spirit is a loose translation agreed to by a Tribal council of Sexual minorities.  Each tribe had their own word for it.  The role of Sexual Minorities in tribes also varied a lot.  Alas, we have very little information about most tribes, because Christianity systematically worked to destroy Native American cultural Traditions, and many, many tribes were lost to us completely by the actions of the white man in the Americas.

Christianity brought Homophobia to Native Americans, bringing native americans a new form of Hate.  It is one of the many legacies spread by Christianity around the world.  Unfortunately, it is all based on a lie.  Paul's Letters in the New Testament were all written in Coptic Greek. A word-oar found in Paul was then mistranslated, no doubt on purpose, to refer to same-sex sex (homosexual sex) as being wrong, when that is not at all what Paul said.  The lie has been perpetuated ever since—a great justification to claim to have God's permission to hate, torture, murder, imprison, and discriminate against a people of God's own creation.  Such is Human Nature.  If only Christians would actually follow the teachings of Jesus…
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:iconkokiricosmo:
KokiriCosmo Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow... I've been given a lot of insight. Thank you! I'm a female-bodied two-spirit with a hetero male. My personality is an INFJ.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You are most welcome.  All that really matters is that you fully love, accept and embrace who you are.

Our society likes to make things black & White, make everything fit into rigid boxes.  But life and nature itself is never black & white, it is a magnificent spectrum.

There are two sexing-out phases during human fetal gestation, one where the brain sexes-out and one when the body sexes-out. One thing that even most Sexual Minorities don't realize is that it is possible to have a female body and a male brain, or something in-between (or vice versa with male body and female brain).  What makes it even more complex and fascinating is that the brain can then be anywhere on the sexual orientation spectrum, libido spectrum and femininity /masculinity spectrum. 

When the body and brain are completely mismatched, this is when people describe feeling like they are in the wrong gender body, and many of them seek a partial or full Sexual Reassignment. An example of a partial reassignment would be someone in a male body who goes on hormones, gets female breasts, etc, but keeps the penis and testicles, compared to a full sexual reassignment surgery.

This is what I meant talking about a gender spectrum.  Obviously, a person can be born with a female body and female brain, but have that brain be anywhere on the Sexual Orientation Spectrum, libido spectrum and Femininity/masculinity spectrum.

When you condor how many possibilities there are, of every possible combination of Sexual Orientation, Gender, Libido and Masculinity/Femininity, the possibilities seem endless.

I feel that we spend too much of our energy in trying to exactly label who we are, to force ourselves to fit some box-label.  This is why I do not refer to our community as LGBTQ, or any of the many other combinations out there.  I refer to our community as Sexual Minorities.

You hear number tossed out there, like homosexuals make up 10% of the population. But the surveys this is based on are very, very narrow in scope.  But even today, many sexual minorities will not answer honestly even on so called anonymous surveys, especially in my generation and older.  There is still a lot of distrust, and for those sexual minorities in the closet, they feel that there is too much at risk to even risk being honest on an anonymous survey.   They also do not count Bisexuals, or "primarily homosexual and secondarily heterosexuals" or Primarily heterosexual and secondarily homosexual, etc.  

If you were to get honest answers from people on the question of, "Have you ever in your life felt a physical attraction to someone of the same gender," I believe you would be looking at over two-thirds of the human population.  People are not just homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual.  That is like trying to describe the infinite number of colors in the color frequency spectrum as Red, Green & Blue.

I would rather see a world more focused on self-acceptance and community acceptance of who people are on the Human Sexuality Spectrums.
  
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:iconchristinemw:
ChristineMW Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
Wow, I never knew that homosexuality was widely accepted in native cultures the world over, Learn something new every day I guess.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, it was the advent of Christianity and Islam being spread around the world, including Native Americans (North and South America) that turned them Homophobic. Native American Reservations can be horribly homophobic, depending on the tribe. But things are getting better now. Latin Americans (covering all of the Americas) tend to still be more homophobic compared to Caucasians.
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:iconchristinemw:
ChristineMW Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
such is the way of the world I supose, everything is good until somebody wants control.
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:icontexbrazos:
texbrazos Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
This article seems to want to paint the entire American Indian population as believing in "Two spirit", which is not true. There were many tribes where it was not accepted or known. Tribes such as the Comanche, Cherokee, and Iroqois to name a few. Also, just because some of the men whom were either too weak for battle or hunting or mentally challenged, took on womens chores in the society. This did not mean they were homosexual. I find it interesting that after much research I find all American Indians speaking of lying down with their women and not their men. Not saying that "two spirit" did not occur, but I find it hard to believe it was as common as this author is saying it was. I try to study as much about many of the tribes and their elders, medicine men, etc. I find that the medicine men have children and one or more wives. So, I do not see where there are two spirits in many of the tribes. Take the Crow that was mentioned here. Medicine Crow was the medicine man in the old days. He ended up with 6 wives! Another medicine man of the Sioux Black Elk, married with children as wll The old American Indians used to walk a straight and narrow path, and did not deviate much from it. Doing research today on reservation indians and indians influenced by white society leads you down the wrong road. Too paint them all as embracing "two spirit" is just completely wrong.
Here is a little response from an American Indian elder,
Though my many years, and now as an elder, and as one who knows my culture well. My pre-contact culture did not accept it. I also, through the years have learned to recognize the ones who have the least to say, they talk and write the longest and prove the least and often cause the most harm. In the gay community, a “fancy-tongue” will take you far as will a “forked-tongue” in the white community. For me, the best way for me to accept anyone is if they don’t force their beliefs on me. I certainly don’t force mine on them and I expect the same in return. I have known gay people before and this is first thing they do! As a married man of 37 years, I don’t know for sure, maybe my sexual preferences are strange to others but my wife and I don’t go around discussing it with other people! People accept us just fine! This article has proven little to me, no facts at all, and will probably not convince anyone else.

Read more:[link] [link]
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:iconnative4ever:
native4ever Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
Nyah weh to textbrazos for stating what almost all natives in my tribe and circle know. The only pressure we are experiencing is the pressure of the Europeans to change our traditions to suit what they call "progressive" and "acceptance," yet they appropriate our culture and misrepresent it to fit their agenda and do not accept the reality of who we are or our words when we tell them the truth. The facts are that although this "Two-Spirit" notion has become popular in new ager circles along with the other frauds they apply to twist our culture into their latest "shaman" fantasies and wannabe games, there is NO documentation of 90 percent of what they claim, other than their own quoting of someone else who said it. That means nothing! There is no documentation of homosexuality as existing as a noticeable and/or "common" practice, or us "revering' these "shamans." They can never name one book written at the time when all these Euros were documenting everything about us and living with us, like Adair, that mentions it. While there may be some references to gender-role variations, there is NO support at the time of contact or the records by those who observed us of homosexuality. If it had existed the way these new age fakers pretend it did, they definitely wouldhave done their best to demonize us by telling terrible stories of how we godless heathes were going against their christian rules! They accused of everything they could imagine, but they never mentioned that! <aybe that's because it NEVER happened the way they claim. In all that writing they did. Andnow they want to say it is because WE somehow forgot or oppressed our own selves out of fear of them. Sorry, but we have fought to maintain our traditions and those have survived no matter how they tried to stamp us out. If this was any kind of big tradition, natives would have been recorded as marrying people from the beginning and they would still be secretly doing it but we are NOT! That tells you everything!! White people stop misrepresenting our culture for your own agenda, and lying about us!
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Both links you gave went to the same page. I am not sure how the links you offered support your argument, since they support mine more. The fact that Cherokee and Navajo councils, in 2004, have decided to be bigoted about marriage, based on what they say are their traditions, means nothing, as their traditions are obviously heavily polluted by Christian and modern societal influences.

The research I offered is based on direct interviews with tribal chiefs and leaders from up to 200 years ago.

I have stated that Two Spirit traditions varied a lot from tribe to tribe and even went by many different names. I gave examples of the more common ways these traditions were enacted, but could not possibly cover them all. I also could not cover all tribes without the piece becoming far too long for anyone to want to read.

You say that your pre-contact culture did not agree with same-sex sex, yet your own ancestors say otherwise, so who is better believed?

You now say you speak for the traditions of your tribe, but are you saying that you know more about those traditions that those chiefs of long ago who told their traditional stories? I would say that it much more likely that it is your understanding of your tribal traditions that has been polluted by your own modern cultural bigotry and hatred of those different from you. I would say that your ancestors were so bigoted as you are. Oral traditions are very susceptible to being polluted when the culture is subject to rapid and drastic change. It is best to rely on the tellers of old.

The modern Two-spirit re-awakening was done by Native Americans across tribal lines back in 1988. There is an ongoing movement to change Tribal laws across both the United States and Canada, to allow same-sex marriage. It will happen, I can promise you that. It is just a matter of time. There is also a substantial Two-Spirit Youth movement. The movement to overcome Homophobic bigotry is in action all of this planet, including Native american Tribes.

Navajo Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at age 16. Your kind of bigotry is what causes this. You can see an Independent Lens video on this called Two Spirits [link]

You can also see more information about Two-Spirit Groups & Societies around the country at NativeOut [link], just one of many such.

Your recollection and interpretation of your Native Traditions is obviously at great odds with both history and others in your position.

I give extensive references my readers are welcome to check.
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:iconimsanegamer1:
imsanegamer1 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
read some of this years ago but nice see whole lot posted 1 go
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. I am not native American myself, but I greatly respect Native American Traditions and Culture and the symbiotic relationship with Nature and the Elements. When you live in Harmony with your environment, then it is more likely that you live in harmony in your community. When you homosexual behavior in the Bison, then it would be naturally accepted.

Bison have been observed to display homosexual behaviors, males much more so than females. In the case of males, it is unlikely to be related to dominance but rather to social bonding or gaining sexual experience.1

1Ref: Homosexual Behavior in Bison/Buffalo: Vervaecke H, Roden C. "Going with the herd: same-sex interaction and competition in American bison". In: Sommer V, Vasey PL, (editors). Homosexual behaviour in animals. Cambridge University Press; 2006. pp. 131–53 ISBN 0-521-86446-1.
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:iconthebutterflygirl:
TheButterflyGirl Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
I love your information. I never knew that the Native American culture never had a problem about homosexuality. Instead they have always seen it as a natural thing and they always will. I've always considered the Native Americans the number one most highest spiritual race than any race.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. Yes, it is only the Christianization of Native Americans that brought bigotry against homosexuality into their modern culture. Native American culture saw a very close relationship between themselves and nature and the elements. They saw themselves as stewards of nature and the earth and to live in symbiosis and mutual respect with the natural world. Unlike wester and Eastern cultures, they never exploited or abused the land, water and nature surrounding them. They had a spiritual connection with all that surrounded them in the natural world.
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:iconthebutterflygirl:
TheButterflyGirl Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
I still wonder how the Native American tribes are doing. I still feel very sad for them and I still at times feel concerned for them. It's true that during WW2, there was a very big holocaust. They still talk about how many Jews were killed. But the Native Americans are really the ones who've had a bigger holocaust than any race or those of a religon. It's barely talked about in history classes. However, I do recall a teacher I had in fourth grade who did teach us about Native American culture and that we watched a video on how there were lots of Native American warriors who fought and died in the biggest bloodshed battles against the white race. Seeing images of those wars was intense and sad. It still is intense and sad. As I flashback on it, I see that the Native warriors are real martyrs and heros who fought not only to protect their people but to hold on to their ways of life and their culture. From what I see, Native Americans are one of the kind who really fought something for real. Even the Celts in Scotland fought something for real. They fought for their freedom against the English during the Middle Ages. Sadly, the Celts of Scotland and in Ireland gave up their beliefs in nature worship and authorization in nature spirit religon. They converted to Christianity. In some ways the Celts did live kind of like the Native Americans. However, some of the Celts have decided to go back to their original beliefs.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Many tribes continue to this day, but their biggest cultural problem is in Native American youth who are more focused on participating in western culture and careers, rather than their native culture. This is very understanding from the perspective of many young people, as it is something that most young people desire. It is typically later in life that people regain an interest in their cultural roots.

The white man largely did not see Native americans as human beings, which allowed atrocities to be committed against them. the white man saw black people the same way, allowing so-called Christians to do the unthinkable. The Supreme court of the United States once ruled that Black people were not human beings and therefore not protected by the Bill Of Rights and Constitution. any tribes continue to this day, but their biggest cultural problem is in Native American youth who are more focused on participating in western culture and careers, rather than their native culture. This is very understanding from the perspective of many young people, as it is something that most young people desire. It is typically later in life that people regain an interest in their cultural roots.
Human Beings seem to naturally want to see themselves as superior to others. Greed and the desire for Power over others usually overrules all else, and then it becomes easy for them to justify doing horrible things. Christians and the US Government continued to actively attack the Native American Cultures up well into the 20th Century.

If you did not see it in my Artist's Comments:

AMERICAN SHAME

In the 19th Century, Native American children were forcibly removed from their parents and sent to Re-education camps where they attempted to stamp-out all traced of "Heathen Practices." Both Churches and Government wanted CULTURAL CLEANSING of Native Americans to bring them into

Any use of native language resulted in beating and public whippings. Crying for parents was punished. One survivor tells us how the nuns nailed her younger brother to the wooden plank dining table overnight when he wouldn’t eat a dinner of stewed onions.

The children were forced to beg in the street for money to help support the Mission Schools.

The American Indian boarding school era began in the late 19th century during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant. Boarding schools, where Indian children underwent acculturation into white society, were touted as an economical alternative solution to the nation’s “Indian problem” (as opposed to outright war).

Under Grant’s Peace Policy of 1869, thousands of American Indian children as young as 5 years old were taken from their families and subjected to a life of harsh discipline and CULTURAL CLEANSING.

The schools were modeled after a prison school created by Captain Richard H. Pratt for Indian prisoners of war in Florida and were usually operated with military precision. Pratt’s philosophy of rigid order became the desired model. Punishment was swiftly meted out for offenses such as displaying any Indian tendencies. Students’ mouths were scrubbed out with lye soap for uttering any words in their native language. Children were virtual prisoners at the schools, forbidden to visit their parents, forced into hard labor, and subjected to a host of abuses including physical and sexual abuse by school officials and other students.

Since the schools usually functioned with limited funds, children frequently died from starvation or preventable diseases. Pratt’s philosophy to “kill the Indian to save the man” was widely embraced as a more humane, Christian solution for controlling the Indian population. Native children were trained to become “useful, contributing” members of the new America as domestic servants – the only role for which they were deemed fit. This policy of forced acculturation was supported by the U.S. government, which appropriated funds for more than 400 such schools.

The system continued well into the 20th century. By the mid-1930s, schools began to slowly improve. By the 1970s the schools began to recognize the merits of including native culture in curriculum, and gradually became less coercive. Although most of today’s Indian boarding schools are located on reservations and operated by tribes, the schools are plagued with a lack of funding, alcohol and substance abuse, and high suicide rates among students according to the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that at least 60 percent of Bureau of Indian Affairs schools have inadequate funding.
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:iconthebutterflygirl:
TheButterflyGirl Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
That is something I was not taught in school. I never knew about Indian children being taken away and put into these abusive schools. Very fucked up. I've learned 10 years ago about religous fucking hypocrites sexually abusing children in schools, institutes, and in churches. But I have never learned about Indian children being taken away. I appreciate you telling me what I was never taught until now. Although I am of the white race, I wasn't brought up to hate other races. I was brought up to understand cultures, respect cultures, and to be peaceful. I guess it's because I have two parents who had ancestors being persecuted. My dad for example is Jewish and before I was born, his grandparents had to flee Russia to escape both the persecution and Communism. My mom was raised an Irish Catholic and her ancestors of Ireland were treated cruelly by the English and persecuted. Also, when you said that most of the young Natives are now going into the Western culture to have careers, I hope that they don't forget who they are. Whatever happens now, it depends on the person what to decide.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Right now, the biggest danger is that Native American Traditions are disappearing, for lack of younger people to pass the Traditions to. Most of it is taught through spoken words and shared experiences, with the older person acting as a Spirit Guide. Most of it is not something you learn from a book. A culture is something that is typically instilled in you from birth.

Western society is corrupting, because it is based in Greed, which is more tempting than following traditional ways connected to Mother Earth and Nature. Better to have a big TV, fast car, and lots of cash to party with. When some of them become disillusioned with Western ways, later in their lives, and seek their native culture, it become a like a new layer on top of the already instilled corrupting Western culture.

It is possible that Native American culture of many tribes will disappear in another generation or two, which would be sad.
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:iconthebutterflygirl:
TheButterflyGirl Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
Yeah I hear you.
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:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy crap that is a lot.. I decided to read a bit about it after watching Little Big Man and noticing that the character Little Horse acted very effeminate. He was, as the old-man-narrator called it, "hee-man-eh", which according to Wikipedia's reference on it, means someone who is neither categorized as male or female.

The book "The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" also touches on this subject in passing, saying how it was perfectly okay to be gay as a Native American, but then settlers came in with their Christianity and it fell out of favor, I guess, as all things the white man touches does in the end ^_^;
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It did not know about the Little Horse reference and will include it when I update this sometime in the near future.

You are correct about how the forced Christianization of Native Americans changed their culture. Native American Children were forcibly taken from their homes and put in christian camps or schools, which severely punished any use of native language or customs. Under President's Grant’s Peace Policy of 1869, thousands of American Indian children as young as 5 years old were taken from their families and subjected to a life of harsh discipline and CULTURAL CLEANSING in Christian camps. Today we would call it torture, but all is well when done in the name of God. This continued up into the 1970s.

Any use of native language resulted in beating and public whippings. Crying for parents was punished. One survivor tells us how the nuns nailed her younger brother to the wooden plank dining table overnight when he wouldn’t eat a dinner of stewed onions.

The children were forced to beg in the street for money to help support the Mission Schools.

The schools were modeled after a prison school created by Captain Richard H. Pratt for Indian prisoners of war in Florida and were usually operated with military precision. Pratt’s philosophy of rigid order became the desired model. Punishment was swiftly meted out for offenses such as displaying any Indian tendencies. Students’ mouths were scrubbed out with lye soap for uttering any words in their native language. Children were virtual prisoners at the schools, forbidden to visit their parents, forced into hard labor, and subjected to a host of abuses including physical and sexual abuse by school officials and other students.

Since the schools usually functioned with limited funds, children frequently died from starvation or preventable diseases. Pratt’s philosophy to “kill the Indian to save the man” was widely embraced as a more humane, Christian solution for controlling the Indian population. Native children were trained to become “useful, contributing” members of the new America as domestic servants – the only role for which they were deemed fit. This policy of forced acculturation was supported by the U.S. government, which appropriated funds for more than 400 such schools.

The system continued well into the 20th century. By the mid-1930s, schools began to slowly improve.

This part of our history is both a Christian and American Shame that is not typically taught in schools, just as it is not talked about how we deliberately started the Mexican American War to steal a quarter of what is now the United States from Mexico, nor how we deliberately started the Spanish american War, to steal the Philippines. In both cases, we did this when we knew the other country could not possibly fight back.

There is real danger in arrogance and in lying about history, because then we cannot possibly learn from our mistakes, since they are all carefully covered up and deleted from school books.
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:iconstainedglassjesus:
StainedGlassJesus Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012
Very atrocious history. :( It's a shame what people do to each other. I can't tell you how many times I've shocked people claiming to be Christian, when I tell them that Jesus was Middle-Eastern, not White, (duh) and that King James the First, was openly homosexual. (The same King James responsible for the horribly translated, popular version of the Bible most people read today.) Some people find it far easier to stay ignorant and not study the truth of history. I thank you very much for this page you wrote: Having both Native American (Cherokee and Choctaw)and Irish in me, as well as being gay (or "Two Spirit" in this case, going with the theme of this page) I come from a very dark history of being oppressed and abused for being who I am. People like you help to enlighten where enlightening is desperately needed. :)
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You are most welcome.

You are correct about the translation problems. In the Old Testament, at around AD1100, the Catholic Church reinterpreted Sodom & Gomorrah to be about homosexuality, when it has never been before. The Jewish faith never has interpreted this story as having anything to do with homosexuality.

The early church adopted pagan holidays to help recruit and convert Pagans to Christianity, so holidays like Christmas and Easter do not match even the correct season for the Birth and resurrection of Christ. But by AD 1000, the Church was now distancing itself from Pagans and starting to try to destroy the Pagans and their pagan faiths.

I wrote the following deviations to help GLBTQ Christians reconcile their faith with how they were born. I go through each actual translation and the different interpretations.

In Ancient Greek and Roman, there was no word for same-sex sex or homosexual because it was basically considered part of sexuality in general.

It should be also noted that God (in the Ten Commandments) and Jesus Christ (in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) never once mentioned or even hinted that same-sex sex or homosexuality was negative, bad or wrong in any way. This is significant given that Jesus was raised in an urban area heavily populated by roman citizens and roman garrisons, where same-sex sex was openly practiced, and his father, a carpenter, no doubt worked for Romans. iIn the some 34 to 35 years of Jesus' life, he was bound to have know about same-sex sex. In addition, same-sex sex would also have been practiced in the Hebrew culture, although the jewish community like to think Hebrews were somehow free of homosexuality then. If homosexuality or same-sex sex was of any importance, I am sure either god or jesus would have said something.

New Testament & Homosexuality [link]
Old Testament & Homosexuality [link]
SODOM DESTROYED ON 6-29-3129BC [link]
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:iconstainedglassjesus:
StainedGlassJesus Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
and there's also the theory that King David was gay lovers with Jonathon. I think it's Samuel 1, Chapter 20, Verse 41, that says "And David arose from a place to the south and bowed three times before Jonathon, and they kissed one another and wept with one another until David had exceeded." The word "exceeded" is actually a mistranslation of the original Hebrew word...well, i can't remember the Hebrew word, but I DO know that when you literally translate the original Hebrew word, it means "ejaculated." I always thought the whole David and Jonathon story did sorta read like a gay romance novel, lol.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
An interesting idea. I will have to look into that more when I get the chance.
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:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You sound like a scholar with lots of knowledge.. That's really hard to find .. I respect that :worship:
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you. I have an insatiable curiosity and keep following interesting threads of knowledge. I am also passionate about Social Justice, youth issues and GLBTQ issues.
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:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Me too! I can tell you follow your favorite topics and just research the HECK out of it, as do I.

I'm interested in the ... darker side of humanity, things that I technically shouldn't be worrying about (or even learning about), like child sex abuse, human trafficking, and of course crazy people.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
One of the reasons I think I have done so well in socializing and then in counseling is that human behavior was a fascination for me. At first it was beyond comprehension. After the Academy, a guy accused me of sabotaging him. I felt really hurt and went to one of the other engineers for advice. He told me that the guy was well known for sabotaging other people, therefore he assumed others were doing it to him. If your lover suddenly starts accusing you of cheating, when you are very innocent, chances are that it is your lover who is cheating and now believes you must be too.

I went to a Jungle school for Team management and they gave us a book called "The People Puzzle." The broke us into teams and put us under great pressure with survival problems, etc. They secretly video and audio tapes us as we worked in our teams. Months before, long surveys were sent to 15 of our subordinates (slaves), 15 peers, and 15 supervisors. I filled a couple out on other people. They got right into how they saw your personality, what they likes and did not like about you, how you were to work with, work for, or have as a supervisor. They asked about socializing, behavior, conversation ability. They were really in-depth. All of it was completely anonymous, so I had no idea who was asked to rate me.

First we were given the results of those surveys and then we were shown the videos. Men were sobbing. You have no idea what it is like to see yourself interacting, under pressure and working in a group. Then to hear how others see you, it is just shocking to the core. Apparently I typically took a facilitator role. Anyway, I learned so much about myself and others that is was literally a turning point in my life. I started asking people more and more personal questions when at sea, and surprisingly they always answered. I finally was really starting to understand the human puzzle.

When people started coming to me for advice and help, by word-of-mouth, I was hearing peoples deepest secrets, fears, and experiences, and how they reacted to it, shame, guilt, etc. Each time I learned more and more and saw the patterns (where my autism really helps me).

My point is that some people claim that Autistics don't understand people or how they think or why they think and behave as they do. This is garbage. It may be true of children, but we can certainly get there, it just takes longer. They used to institutionalize Autistics as Mentally Retarded or Crazy, isolated in hospitals or dormitories. Their minds had no opportunity to grow or develop because they were so isolated, and probably eventually went crazy from that.

We must study child sex abuse, both the perpetrators and the victims, to better understand how to treat them. The same is true of other disorders. But one must be careful that you are not feeding the depressed side of your mind. Like I was totally into Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickerson growing up, because I related to darker things, and depression demands to be FED, just like depression demands isolation, which deepens the depression in a downward spiral, like being flushed down a toilet. I was 24 when i started ponder love. My boyfriend asked me if I loved him and I said, "What is Love?" I asked everyone I knew and most people said love is love and you will know it when it happens. I felt this was a total cop-out, and set-out to figure it out What Is Love All About? [link]. Later, I studied happiness and how to find happiness and contentment in life:
HAPPINESS, Fulfillment & Contentment [link]
A PATH TO HAPPINESS [link]


It is even worse with people who focus on the darker side of human disorders in order to feel better about themselves, being able to look down on people who are worse than you are. In other words, it is about your intent for focusing on the darker side that matters.

My advice, for what it is worth, is to always seek BALANCE. We need water to live, yet you can drown in a puddle of water. I was very Codependent with my ex-partner. Codependency is necessary for a good relationship, but too much makes the relationship sick and dysfunctional and detrimental to both people. Therefore it is best to seek a good Balance of it.
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:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I love, but I don't recognize it, like I don't attribute what I'm feeling as ..that.

They say that a crush usually lasts around 4 months. If the feelings persist, then it's love (either that or unhealthy obsession, LOL).

To me, I think of love as something I read awhile back.. kind of a step-by-step guide to how love works (yeah with love I like to make it as mechanical as possible, LOL):

1. You find someone that you admire
2. You admire them and enjoy them and hope that they will return the feelings
3. Things progess. Admiration, compliments, liking, back and forth. It's built on mutual ...liking and enjoyment of the other person's company..

Something like.. that. Though there is the whole Triangle Love theory, with passion, commitment, and intimacy. As well as the 3, 4, 5, or 6 types of love that the Greeks came up with, which I am fond of referring to in order to categorize my interactions with others..

I have seen two VERY good movies that deal with autism and Asperger's.

Temple Grandin
My Name is Khan

I HIGHLY recommend "My Name is Khan". I found it on Netflix; it's soooo good that I showed it to my high school social studies teacher and she was considering putting it in her Sociology class lesson plan.

So yes, I'll try to seek balance within my life. It's kind of hard, because I'm either all in or all out, even when it comes to sitting on the fence ..Either all the way on the fence or just not even participating, LOL .. Thanks.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Sharing and connect is the basis of Love itself, which is why it can be hard for some Autistic youth to learn how to express love (especially boys). My first partner asked me if I loved him, I told him I did not know. I guess my honesty can be brutal sometimes, but I immediately told him that when I say it to you, I want to be able to tell you exactly what it means to me, what you meant to mean, and that it is truth and not just a convenient word: What Is Love All About? [link]
. I told him I was going to make this a priority to figure out. I did figure out what love was and that what I was feeling for him was indeed love.

Time does not have a lot to do with a Crush, Infatuation, or Love.

CRUSH:
A Crush is a Dream based in desire. You often do not even know the person well when the Crush starts. What usually kills a crush is actually getting to know the person more, who usually does not live up to your dream of that person. A Crush is typically triggered by Pheromones, sexual hormone in our sweat, our scent, which we can respond to from as far away as 50 feet or more if you are downwind of the person. Then there is Physical Attraction and attraction to timbre or pitch of voice, masculinity, femininity and behavioral things.

INFATUATION:
Infatuation is the first stage of love and it can start with a Crush. Infatuation is still not grounded in reality yet. The Chemistry of infatuation is intense THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE [link] and blinds us to much of reality, but the chemistry does wear-off.

When the Chemistry starts wearing off, then you start to see the other person more clearing, see faults more clearly. If you have not been building the foundations of solid love during the Infatuations peril, you typically fall out of love with the person. I have seen young love fail repeatedly because of this.

How do you build a foundation of Love? The answer is found in SHARING & CONNECTION. When you are infatuated, or in my case with Greg, forming a friendship, it is important to invest a lot of time into actually getting to know each other on a deeper level. It is more than just sharing the facts of your life, it is an emotional sharing of your life too. Boys and men especially have a hard time with this, and there is actually a reason having to do with a fundamental difference between male and female brains. Young boys and girls both start by processing emotions from their Amygdala, a primitive part of out brains. In girls, once they enter puberty, their frontal cortex starts taking on emotional processing. Ask a 16-year-old girl about her emotions and she can go on and on about them. Ask a 16-year-old boy about his emotions and he will usually come up with a one or two word description. Boys and men both have a harder time sorting-out the various emotions they are experiencing, and especially have a harder time putting it into words. Practice Makes Perfect. I am rather good at it now.

If you are doing a lot of sharing with your new boyfriend or girlfriend, but the other is bottle-up tight, connection is weak and not growing. I will see two guys crazy for each other, both very busy and only able to see each other a fews days a week, and when they do, it is making-out or making love, going to the movies, socializing with freinds... These things do not build love. If you are doing activities together, like playing games, hiking together, interacting with each other, talking a lot about each other, your dreams, the emotional turning points in your life, how you feel now, like excitement and fear, etc. This starts to build both connection and trust, and of course love.

The greater majority of human beings wear a false mask, especially when dating. You want to present your "better side' and typically subconsciously look for clues from the other person about what he or she wants. My ex-partner heard I did not smoke, drink, or do drugs, and he smoked like a chimney, was an alcoholic and drug addict. For the first year he did all he could to hide those things from me. But frankly, as long as he drank, drugged or smoked in moderation, I would have no problem with it. I am the master of myself ONLY and it is not my right to tell another how to live.

The trouble with wearing a false mask is that people fall in love or love the false mask, NOT YOU. It is frightening to fully expose yourself (who you are) to another person, because we fear rejection so much. IF you take the approach of being 100% OPEN, HONEST and true to yourself, and expose yourself a bit at a time, then you can see if the other person is trustworthy. This way you build both trust and love. So you do not need to confess on your first date that you fart a lot. All in good time.

When you have exposed yourself fully to another, opened your heart wide to be seen by another, and that person accepts and loves you unconditionally, for both the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of you, there is no more magnificent or wondrous feeling known to mankind.

This is why LOVE TAKES COURAGE. You have to take risks to love. You have to expose your heart, knowing you might be betrayed or abandoned, or even rejected. Love and Pain go to together, so just accept it as a given. The more intensely we love, the more intensely we hurt at times, but guess what, the intensity of the love by far, by far makes any pain felt worth it all. If you get hurt bad, you have a choice, you can be a turtle and withdraw into your shell, or build tall walls around you, but if you do so, you are choosing to no longer experience much love, for fear of some pain.

I know the pain of love dearly, having tried to kill myself after my ex-partner (6 years) left me. But I got right back in there and sought out love again, just as I did the time before that and the time before that. Each tome I suffered, I also gained a greater and greater appreciation for the love in my life.

Most Crushes are youthful practice runs, until you are around 17, give or take. I have seen kids change boyfriends and girlfriends like they were changing a shirt. But this is part of the process of learning how to connect, share and love romantically.

PASSION:
Passion is born of Romantic desire, and Love is the amplifier.

. . . . . . . . . . .

I am very familiar with both the Documentary and work Of Dr. Temple Grandin.
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:iconcharanty:
Charanty Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012
Is this only me or the whole concept reminds more of western idea of bisexuality than of homosexuality?
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
No, if anything, it sounds more aligned with transgender. The thing to know about Two-Spirits is that the tribal system was more flexible than reported by researchers. The only solid research we have was the observations of early tribal interactions and stories of two-spirits, done well over 100 years ago, by men who were heavily biased by Western Christian culture. They were observing heathen ways. Naturally, the cases that stand out the most are the ones where a man takes a woman's role and a woman takes a man's role. This is easily observable. Not so easily observable would be men having sex with men and women having sex with women, especially on long hunts.
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:iconcharanty:
Charanty Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Different cultures, different ideas of what is acceptable and what is not.

Though, i have such a guess that society with more genders will be somewhat more flexible.

However, there is usually a paradox that if in some areas one society has less pressure than than another but it's compensated that it may put more pressure in another area.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The more religious a society the more intolerant it will be. There was almost no homophobia prior to Christianity and islam. the vast, vast majority of all atrocities committed against homosexual people, in the history of mankind, has been at the hands of Christians and Muslims. In the ancient world, in aboriginal tribes on all of the continents and island groups, homosexuality seems to have not only been accepted, but ofter revered. Homosexuals typically tok the roles of Shaman, medicine man and medicine woman, tribal teachers, tribal negotiators, counselors...

Same-sex sex was openly practiced and accepted in the largest empires in the world, in the Greek, Persian, and Roman empires and in some of the ancient Chinese Dynasties.

The really sad thing is that neither God nor Jesus ever once said a single bad word about homosexuality or same-sex sex [Ten Commandments and Matthew, Mark, Luke & John]. In the original ancient Greek scriptures, written by Paul's Scribe, Paul never said anything against homosexuality or same-sex sex in either Romans nor Corinthians. It was later translations (King James) where translators lied to fill out their own hateful agendas, induce fear in the population to bring in more money to the church. the church did the exact same thing with witches, blaming the European Little Ice age on witches, setting up a systematic system for murdering innocent women and men.

Now Christians felt they had permission from god to hate, to torture, muser, imprisonment and discrimination against Homosexual people. The torture and imprisonment went well into my lifetime. The stuck picks up through the eye sockets of men and women to to destroy parts of their brains (Lobotomy) as a cure for homosexuality, while turning them into living vegetables. We were tortured with high amperage electrical-shocks to the genitals, which are still happening in America now by Christian operators promising parents to convert their Christian or Mormon child back to being heterosexual. They also still use chemical versions on Children, using ammonia to induce vomiting, while being shown homosexual pornography.

People justify their own evil in the name of God, often encouraged by Priests and ministers (USA).
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:iconcharanty:
Charanty Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
I wouldn't say so - i'm from Russia and after 70 years of atheism my country is very traditional in views on sexuality and gender roles at best. It got slightly better for the last 20 years, tough. At least being gay isn't a crime now or so i heard.

Buddhism and Sinto in Japan on the other hand are pretty fine with same-sex relationships. As well as Hinduism to a certain degree in India.

So correctly will be to say that polytheistic (pagan) religions were/are more relaxed in term of accepting sexuality. /sorry for awkward wording English isn't my first language.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The more rigid the society's social and governmental structures are, the more intolerant and segmented the society tends to get. We see this throughout much of Eastern Europe as well as in the Russia and the areas which were once part of the Soviet Union. We in the LGBTQ community very much hope this will change for the better in the coming decade. In the United States, some areas, like the Sought and Middle United States, people re very intolerant, but on much of the Eastern coast and all of the Western Coast, there is a high level of tolerance. The intolerant areas are the most heavily influenced by Christianity.

Pretty much it is Christianity and Islam, representing most of the humans on the planet, which are intolerant of SEXUAL MINORITIES.

I fully understand how hard it is to work in another language, so I admire how good you are at English. I hope you look up the words i use that you are not familiar with. It is good practice for your skills.
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:iconcharanty:
Charanty Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012
We will see i think.

Thanks.
It's actually fun, haha.
Although, several words confused me, but i will look them up.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Good for you. Each time you look-up words, you slowly get better at it. I still do it myself with English, and it is my only language.
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:iconmystic-cheetah:
Mystic-Cheetah Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012
What a well written and thoughtful piece. Highly informative and enjoyable. It is a shame that we don't really look at this often.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is a window into how most of the world viewed homosexuality in the ancient world. Pretty much all of the atrocities committed against Homosexual, Bisexual and Transgender people, in the history of mankind, were done by Christians and Muslims. Before Christianity, looking at all of the Continents and Island groups, aboriginal peoples, ancient empires of Greece, Rome, Persia, and China, saw very little problems against GLBTQ people.

Native Americans today can be homophobic, but it comes from their Christian training. Native American children were stolen from their families and forced into horribly abusive Christian camps and schools, where they were severely punished for using their native languages or culture. Christianity was forced onto them, and they were taught to hate GLBTQ people, with their own culture all but lost.

References: [link] [link]
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:iconmystic-cheetah:
Mystic-Cheetah Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
Someday we'll look back at the centuries of homophobia as a sad chapter in history — just like we look at slavery and Jim Crow laws.
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I hope this to be true. Sadly, human nature is such that people need some group of people to look down on and feel superior to, to discriminate against. Even within the Gay community you see discrimination against each other, which is truly sad.

Native American and Aboriginal tribes on other continents lived very close to nature and the elements, respecting nature and the elements . They understood the natures of the elements and beasts around them, and they understood the differing nature of the human beast as well. This made them more understanding and tolerant of others, as long as everyone could contribute towards survival.
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:iconmystic-cheetah:
Mystic-Cheetah Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
That is sad, isn't it...
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, it is sad. I love to work in the garden and get out into nature because it GROUNDS me, reconnects me to mother earth and mother nature. The more disconnected we get from Mother earth and mother nature, then the more arrogant man gets, the less respect man has for the planet and for nature. Most people do not seem to care if we ravage the earth and turn ii into a wasteland, as long as there is a profit to be made. We even lose respect for human life, with corporations (now considered legal people) are willing to poison thousand of people in other countries to increase profits, poison water and air. The President of Exxon shipping Company told me he could care less if people froze in the dark, it would then make them pay more for oil.

Our connections to nature, the earth, and our community can help hold things like Greed in check, but we have also lost sense of community.
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:iconthemchap123:
TheMchap123 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011
I get the impression somehow, most propably from the opening sentence, that the writer wishes to imply that homosexuality in primitive cultures was acceted & celebrated in near universal fashion. This isn't true.

In most primitive African, South American, European, Asian & Polynesian Cultures, if you were discovered to be a homosexual, you were killed. It still goes on today, and it isn't a result of 'Christian' or 'White' cultural imperialism either.
Many Sub-Saharan African tribes that are still the same cultures they were 1000 years ago, bar the introduction of guns & t-shirts, try to 'cure' homosexual women through rape.
A number of isolated, 'lost-tribe'-esq polynesian peoples have absolutly no concept of homosexuality. When asked about it by foriegners, they don't understand why people would do it as it produces no chidren (though they agree that it was good that the homosexual couples were genuinely in love).

All-in-All, while this is a very interesting insight on Native American culture, I question the motivation of this piece.
I can't shake the feeling that the author is trying to push the pro-gay agenda (plus sundry indeological peripherals) by piggy-backing on the plight of the Native-American peoples.
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:iconkarhiio:
karhiio Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Professional
the man be talking about Turtle Island~

this is NOT an academic debate and quit speaking for our people as though you know what we know and that you know better~

your pseudo use of the English language is shallow
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I give some 30 references for this piece. This deviation on Native american culture and homosexuality is very well documented in the literature and is not really even disputed. Before you attack the quality of research for a deviation, and the truth of the research of the deviation, you should first research the materials in question, as well as the many given references.

As for a "Gay Agenda" that you mention, this is a favorite phrase of Bigots, and in fact, I have only ever seen it used by Bigots. When you attack a deviation about homosexual history, with no basis to attack it, it shows your bigoted intent and agenda.

As for the Author's intent, it is self-evident, as this is specifically written to tell the story of Native American Two-Spirits, at least before the White man kidnapped 60,000 thousand Native American children, put them in Christian concentration camps (1790 to 1973), and stripped them of their culture through disgusting methods. The children had their appearances changed with haircuts and were forbidden to speak their native languages, were severely punished through the withdrawal of food and physical abuse. The experience of the schools was often harsh, especially for the younger children who were separated from their families. In numerous ways, they were forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures. Especially through investigations of the later twentieth century, there have been many documented cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse occurring at such schools. The children were even forced to choose new "Christian" names. The 1928 Meriam Report noted that infectious disease was often widespread at the schools due to insufficient funding for meals providing good nutrition, overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions (an element shared by many towns in the early 20th century) and students weakened by overwork. The report said that death rates for Native American students were six and a half times higher than for other ethnic groups.

PRIMITIVE CULTURES: Actually the primitive Polynesian cultures were pro-homosexual, as were the Native Americans, Mesopotamians, Aboriginal Australians, and so on. I have a lot of research on this, but really lack the time now to go through it, pull the data and add it for you, but I do intend to make a deviation just on this subject, which will give references. I have a list of projects to be done, and this is one. Most people on DA do not seem interested in ancient history, so it is low priority.

I am happy to engage in a scholarly discussion on the merits of the research materials, but bigotry is the opposite of Scholarly, it is based in ignorance.
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