“More Than Just ‘Gay Indians’”: Intersecting Articulations of Two-Spirit Gender, Sexuality, and Indigenousness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Two-Spirit individuals, or indigenous North Americans who identify as spiritually both female and male, usually also identify as GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer) Natives. This chapter argues that Two-Spirit individuals express the binary of gender and sexuality not as mutually exclusive opposing poles, but rather as potentially overlapping states. Indeed, this is part of a more general trend among Two-Spirits of embracing the complex, multilayered, and at times contradictory nature of their identities. This chapter focuses on how local concepts of tribal affiliation, tribe-specific Two-Spirit roles, and a multitribal Two-Spirit identity are positioned as different and yet as parts of the larger, more generalized concepts of “Indian,” “Two-Spirit,” and “gay” or “GLBTIQ.” Specifically, I show how these binaries are invoked to articulate the struggle of simultaneously emphasizing individual and local identity while aligning with more familiar mainstream understandings of indigenousness, gender, and sexuality.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQueer Excursions
Subtitle of host publicationRetheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality
EditorsLal Zimman, Jenny Davis, Joshua Raclaw
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199937318
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Publication series

NameStudies in Language and Gender


  • Two-Spirit
  • GLBTQ Indians
  • language, gender, and sexuality
  • Native American
  • American Indian


Dive into the research topics of '“More Than Just ‘Gay Indians’”: Intersecting Articulations of Two-Spirit Gender, Sexuality, and Indigenousness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this