Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I am Two-Spirited

Traditionally, the Two-spirited person was one who had received a gift from the Creator, that gift being the privilege to house both male and female spirits in their bodies. The concept of Two-spirited related to today's designation of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons of Native origins. Being given the gift of two-spirits meant that this individual had the ability to see the world from two perspectives at the same time. This greater vision was a gift to be shared with all, and as such, Two-spirited beings were revered as leaders, mediators, teachers, artists, seers, and spiritual guides. They were treated with the greatest respect, and held important spiritual and ceremonial responsibilities.

(The above is an extract. The whole article can be read here)

This morning I went for my walk. Near the corner where I buy newspapers, there was an aged man from the Yoga Centre handing out little flyers for a lecture entitled: "Be Yourself for a Change!" As I approached, he said to me: "Brother or Sister, please take one." Like some people here often seem to be when they encounter me, he was confused.

There are some people who meet me or see me for the first time and in the first instant apparently don't know what to think. "Male or female?" I see them wondering as their eyes quickly scan me. It doesn't matter that I clearly have breasts. It doesn't matter if my hair is long past my shoulders or up in a ponytail on top my head or shaved short like a tennis ball. It doesn't matter if that day I have on a dress and make up or jeans and a t-shirt. It doesn't matter if I have on heels or sneakers or slippers or closed, flat shoes. I don't think it has much, if anything, to do with the physical.

The rest of the flyer that the aged man handed me invites the recipient to 'Join us for this interactive lecture' and advises, among other things, that 'Change takes place when we realize who we are.'

I am not one to readily apply labels to myself because they often come with so many warped societal stereotypes, judgments and misconceptions attached. But I have always liked the term 'Two-spirited'. To me, it goes beyond the physical, deeper than the surface and is more than 'a lifestyle' - it is a way of being from the beginning of being. The first time I ever heard it, I felt it fit with me.

7 comments:

Kimberlie Kranich said...

Wow! You did it. Congratulations, E! Nicely done.

Kaydee said...

Wow! The progression of the photo is very interesting - ending up with a heart. Very nice.

Gary said...

That's something Elspeth! Brother or sister!
Maybe there are also quadruple spirited persons on Earth, thoroughly disguised as "normal" - and if, I'm one of them (doesn't go to say I'm more special than others, it only feels weird).
The evolution of pictures is awesome!
I knew the first one from somewhere - you already posted it before.

Elspeth said...

Yes, I had already posted these images before (last year January - my hair was now growing back): http://nowiswow.blogspot.com/2007/01/i-miss-your-kiss.html
Just using them in a somewhat different context now.

GirlBlue said...

Did I ever mention that you were my first adult female crush?

yeah you can delete that if you want

human being said...

oh boy i LOVED this post...
two spirited...

you are one ... the first time i came to your blog i had this feeling... i told myself: this one is more than her physical being can hold... her soul overflows her body...
(this is the translation of a Farsi expression used when one has got a great soul)

Elspeth said...

That's a great definition, HB.

And no need to delete, GB.