Two Spirit and Queer Indigenous
What do we mean by Two-Spirit?
The term Two-Spirit comes from 'Niizh Manidoog' in Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language). It is an umbrella term that unites diverse and distinct gender roles and responsibilities that are culturally embedded by most Indigenous Nations on Turtle Island (North America).
Nation specific two-spirit roles include Ayahkwew (Nehiyaw), Winkte (Lakota), Agokwa and Okitchidakwe (Anishinaabe), Muxe (Zapotec), Nadleehi (Navajo), and Hemaneh (Cheyenne).
For some Indigenous peoples, Two-Spirit describes a spiritual identity, having masculine and feminine characteristics, and/or a specific role within traditional societies, as mediators, keepers of certain ceremonies, or middle gender(s).
The use of these terms by people who are not Indigenous is considered cultural appropriation.