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two-spirit

a term originating in Indigenous North American communities in 1990, to describe people who fulfill a traditional third-gender or gender variant role in traditional societies; the “two-spirit” relates to individuals who possess the traditional masculine and feminine qualities.

It should be noted, however, that not all two-spirit individuals associate themselves with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Usage Notes

This is a culturally-specific term, and should not be used as a gender identity by those not from that culture.

Originally published: 16th July, 2020
Last modified: January 15, 2022