The Two-Spirit, Aboriginal, and Native LGBTQ Community

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The two-spirit and LGBTQ native and aboriginal communities exist around the world and are growing in prominence and influence.

Two-spirit individuals, being those who have both a masculine and feminine spirit, have existed as an alternative gender role in aboriginal and native societies for generations. Historically, native communities considered this trait as a gift - it was only on colonization that the concept was banished and a two-gender hierarchy was imposed. The two-spirit individual's role was to act as important spiritual and cultural advisors, teachers, religious leaders, and community builders within their tribes. They were considered more spiritually gifted, a reflection of the belief that the spirit of an individual is more important than the physical body.

Many of these individuals today are active in the creative and entertainment worlds, notably as writers, poets, playwrights, singers, and dancers. A number of them have successfully entered politics in their local communities and countries. All have been activists for their native traditions while also advocating acceptance and tolerance of the LGBTQ community as a whole.

The group has also established many regional activist organizations to represent them, including NativeOut and Dancing to the Eagle Spirit.

We have identified the following outstanding two-spirit, aboriginal, and native LGBTQ individuals:





New Zealand


United States


Further Reading/Research

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