10 February 2015

I Will Be There In Spirit...Really

I know I haven't mentioned "two-spirited" people much on this blog.  I have avoided that because although I wouldn't necessarily identify as one, I feel that I can identify with them.

In other words, I feel that I am related, in some way, to them because I do not fit into American culture's dominant ideas about gender and sexuality.  I was born with a male body and female spirit.  That spirit needs to live fully, which is the reason why I transitioned from life as Nick to living as Justine.

And, yes, I am masculine in some ways. Some of that has to do with the body into which I was born; some of it is a matter of education and acculturation.  But, in spirit, I see myself as female.

Perhaps my conception of myself is congruent with how two-spirited people see themselves and are seen by their communities.  Even if that were the case, though, I would be reluctant to identify myself as two-spirited simply because the concept of it has a cultural context.  And I am completely outside of it, just as I am not part of the South Asian cultures in which hijras live.

Still, I have great respect and empathy for the two-spirited people and know there's much I can learn from them.  That is the reason why I am happy they are having a pow-wow that's open to the public this Saturday in San Francisico's Cow Palace.