The Two-Spirit is an easily misunderstood personality trait. French explorers, Fur Traders, and missionaries came through the waterways of the greater territories of North America. They called the Two-Spirit the Berdache. This word is a terrible descriptor for what a Two-Spirit is. The Two-Spirit people are a completely different meaning than what the Berdache implies. It did a terrible disservice to a revered people among the tribes. The term Berdache began to fall out of use in the 1990s. The Universal term became Two-Spirit, but some tribes use their native tongue words to describe them.
The western observance implied that the Berdache were sexual deviants because they didn't follow the western role set for Men and Women. The term implied a kept boy or sex slave. It was a terrible word. The Two-Spirit was basically shunned because they practiced masculine and feminine characteristics. As western culture infiltrated the new world. The Two-Spirit culture began to become a thing of history.
A Two-Spirit person is one who doesn't particularly subscribe to one form of sexuality. It does not mean that they are the true definition of transgender either. For me, it is and always has been a spiritual journey. As I have grown older I have been able to embrace my authentic self more and more. There is a duality in God, both male and female energies. I feel the balance of this within myself.
Around three years ago, after a few decades of complaining about wearing pants. I started doing the research and discovered that people really did not start wearing pants until after we domesticated the horse. Wherever horse riding atmosphere, this began my journey from wearing pants, to wearing skirts and long robe type outfits. It also helped tremendously in situations of conflict and warfare. It appears that at some point pants became a status symbol for the very wealthy.
I started researching kaftans and kendo martial a skirts. I have to say wearing them has been liberating. I truly enjoy the long draping aspect of my outfits. I also thoroughly enjoy the simplicity of this style of dress. It has allowed me to go deeper with my Two-Spirit side. One foot on the ground and one foot in the spiritual. I have some ideas for sewing my own items from patterns I have been contemplating in my mind.
For me, a Two-Spirit is one who has the ability to dance between the Masculine and the Feminine. The balancing act of both the left and the right brain, and the spiritual components of it. When I discovered this simple way of being. I learned a greater sense of peace.
I have never quite felt comfortable with the word Gay. It just didn't seem to fit me. Even though I have a heavy sexual attraction to same-sex partners. It just does not completely describe me. When I discovered the Two-Spirit stories. I was captivated. It clicked instantly and I knew what they were talking about even though I had never been exposed to the topic. The power of the Two-Spirit is intense spiritual energy. Because it has many components, and yet it has none of them. What I mean is that there are aspects of Homosexuality, Transgender identity, as well as intersex phenomena. It is all of these, yet it is so much more than that too. But as I stated, it is also none of these. Don't try to define it, because down the road you will meet another Two-Spirit. They will be a completely different vessel with their own style of the dance.
The Two-Spirit term came from a Canadian indigenous conference. It is translated from the words niizh manidoowag, from Ojibwa.
The first nations Two-Spirit often had very specific roles in ritual and sacred situations. Many were healers, shamans, medicine men, and women. There were sacred dances and rituals too. Some would go on vision quests and spirit-filled trances.
Today I embrace the full revelation of what it is to be a Two-Spirit person. This sacred path is my nourishment and direction. Because I have embraced it, I am able to go deeper into the deep. It has been a wonderful journey. It is a solitary mystic journey that has brought me a tremendous sense of joy, peace, and understanding. It has truly been liberating to embrace this part of me. It no longer is a box kept silently in the corner. Today this part of me shines. I'm not sure if I have arrived at a destination, as much as this is a journey. Continuous discoveries and new revelations will most likely take place over time.
May we all find that thing that reveals to us our true selves.
Berdache Encylopedia Of The Great Plains
Document Latest Update April 27, 2022
Document Created April 17, 2022