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Detail of Dance to the Berdashe, painted by Ge...

"Dance of the Berdashe"

I really like chronicling for the internet at large my gender-questioning process. Do you guys think it’s as valuable as I do? Normally we only see the results, once people have figured themselves out. I, on the other hand, do not mind making mistakes and being vulnerable. And I like over-analyzing.

Before I get to my main point, I’d like to mention that I saw Captain America and I was happy to see that the love interest, although campy and traditionally sexy, was as three-dimensional as Hollywood gets and also did awesome kick-ass battley-things while maintaining classiness and femininity, and while wearing clothes that covered her ankles. She was distinct from other male-fantasy female heroes because she was an actual human being with flaws. Woot. Well done, Marvel & Paramount.

Anyways. I’ve been doing more research and thinking and I may have found a word/concept that fits me & my gender weirdness– Two-Spirit.

It was developed at an LGBTQ/Native American conference a few decades ago, as a modern recapturing of the gender-bending history of many tribes. White imperialists have on record quite a few cases of individuals who achieved fame in the opposite gender role (particularly, female warriors) and entire social structures wherein gender-bending was perfectly acceptable. This term invites LGBTQ individuals to think of themselves as the home for two different spirits, a male one and a female one simultaneously, and therefore even more of a complete and whole person than cisgender heterosexuals. As in, they are their own better half. How beautiful and freeing is that? I also like it because it takes into account my female behavior and sense of sexuality, which I am not always a huge fan of but which is an indispensable part of me whether I like it or not.

But the problem here is that it’s a uniquely Native American identity. I am not Native American; I am Caucasian. As such, I don’t want to imperialize and appropriate a word without a true understanding of the history and culture around it. I don’t want to offend anyone, or miss out on important concepts related to the term. And the English word “cogender,” which means roughly the same thing, is so sterile and latinate. Yuck.

What do you guys think? Should I wear my appropriated badge with pride, or keep looking?