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“Can I call myself Two Spirit?”

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Marss, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Marss

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    One of my best friends wants to identify as Two spirit and I’m wondering if it’s correct or appropriate for them to do so?

    they’re half Native Alaskan, not enrolled in a tribe (We both live in the U.K) but has learnt their culture through their dad and other natives across the web. Anyway, they want to identify with the modern term Two spirit for themselves. They are aware of its history and seem really happy and comfortable with the term but I’m wondering if it’s correct for them to use it? any opinions? x happy pride
     
  2. alwaysforever

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    My understanding is that it's not appropriate. Without the cultural connection to a specific tribe that uses the term(and I don't think the tribes actually used that term in practice until a few years ago, even though there is a cultural concept of non-binary gender) it just isn't respectful.
     
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  3. Marss

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    I was thinking that but they have learnt some of the culture from their dad and they know it’s a modern umbrella term for LGBT natives and people of native heritage. It might be okay :/
     
  4. ChescaC

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    If they are not of one of the tribes that recognizes Two Spirit people, it is not appropriate.
     
  5. Marss

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    I think her tribe does have the tradition :slight_smile:
    And she says that there are plenty of natives who don’t come from a tribe that celebrates two spirit people who adapt the term and create it into a umbrella term for LGBTQ natives. Thanks for answering.
     
  6. Mihael

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    If they are native themself and want to celebrate their tradition, even without participating in a tribe, I would think that’s okay. Quite many people keep certain traditions alive this way, nowadays, more and more often it is how traditions are remembered at all.
     
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  7. Nightlight

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    If they and their family is part of the native culture I don't see anything wrong, personally.
     
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  8. Spartan 117

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    It sounds like they are partially Native American, and they have family who are. It also seems like they’ve done some research into the subject and not just done this flippantly.

    You could get into the technicalities, I’m not an expert - but if it was me then I’d leave well enough alone. It’s their culture and I wouldn’t really feel like it’s my place to intervene about what they can and can’t call themselves. Especially when they have family at their disposal who probably knows a lot more about it than I do.
     
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  9. gravechild

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    It would depend on how "connected" they are with said tribe. Some people are totally disconnected from that part of themselves, but bring it up when convenient.

    I say use it and see what happens?
     
  10. Pinknbloo

    Pinknbloo Guest

    Hi, I'd like to add my two cents,
    The concept of this term has been around a long time before it was officially a term which was coined in 1990. Some Indigenous Americans will say it's their version of genderfluid, genderqueer, bigender, etc. It is NOT specific to a tribe but a tribe does NOT have to use or acknowledge the term. If used respectfully many I. A. people will not mind. Some will. Its not a matter of whether it's appropriate but all comes down to acceptance and tolerance. Unfortunately, here in America, we become enamored with a concept, commercialize it, and make it the latest passing fad. Who wants their culture commercialized? Anyway, this is just another opinion. If your friend with a tribal heritage feels this fits him or her or them, who is anyone else to say it's wrong? That's what '"" normal people"" would say to many of us here.... Just my thoughts, thats all xxoo
     
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  11. Dandygoth

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    As someone who is mixed myself, I get really annoyed when people who don't come from my culture try to police the way I take back my culture. My mom internalized racism against her own community and married a racist white guy who all but erased her heritage from our life, and I have struggled to get it back in adulthood.

    I don't know what it's like to belong to an ethnic group in which you need to legally register as part of that group, so it might be different for me than for your friend, but it doesn't matter. All of us theorizing on a forum doesn't matter when the person in question isn't present.

    You don't know their history or their internal feelings about their racial identity, so I think you should leave well enough alone. This isn't your place.
     
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  12. Pinknbloo

    Pinknbloo Guest

    I'm not sure what percentage makes anyone this or that either but I am sure of something though. Once you post in a public forum for public opinion it isn't a matter of "place" but of opinion. I have a right to have an opinion and i have a right to post that opinion as does anyone else here. That's what a forum is for. None of the responses seemed to be disrespectful and this one isn't meant to be either.
     
  13. Pinknbloo

    Pinknbloo Guest

    I'm not sure what percentage makes anyone this or that either but I am sure of something though. Once you post in a public forum for public opinion it isn't a matter of "place" but of opinion. I have a right to have an opinion and i have a right to post that opinion as does anyone else here. That's what a forum is for. None of the responses seemed to be disrespectful and this one isn't meant to be either.