Native American & LGBT: Two Spirits Infused As One

Gregory Mason

Cultural • Oct 12th, 14

Unlike many cultures and racial backgrounds who have had a hard time understanding how a person can be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered (LGBT), the Native American community has a more insightful outlook on people of their cultural heritage that identify as LGBT. To have the distinction to be blessed with Two Spirits is to be blessed with a masculine and feminine spirit simultaneously manifested within a human being, and the culture believes that a person who identifies as LGBT is a two-spirited person. The Native American heritage does not condemn a person who expresses masculine and feminine personality traits and has a sexual orientation different than the majority, but looks at them as gifted with the presence of two contrasting spirits.

As a member of the LGBT community, it is really refreshing to see a culture that embraces sexual difference and can even see it as a blessing when so many in the world see it as a curse. However, because of the teachings of religion and education regarding the LGBT community, it still makes it difficult for Native Americans to come out. Being LGBT is something in the mainstream world that is considered sinful and unnatural and Native Americans in the most recent decades have been influenced by the American culture since losing some of their cultural essence due to the historical brutality placed upon their native lineage. While the Native American culture in general continues to fight to gain back and reconcile their own tribal ancestry, being both Native American and LGBT is still a bigger struggle in today’s society.