September 15, 2011

Two Spirits is "thoughtful, intelligent"

Recently watched the Two Spirits documentary on gay Indians. Here's a good summary of it:

June Community Cinema film:  ‘Two Spirits'

By Paula Struckman“In another time, he would have been honored instead of murdered.”

This is the story of Fred, a Navajo boy who was also a girl. In the Navajo world, there are four genders: male, female, male/female or female/male.

“Whatever the gender, that is who you are, that is what you were born into.” Many Native American cultures, like the Navajo, honored people of integrated genders. According to ancient Navajo tradition, integrated gender is a special gift, a Power, given by the holy people and honored by the tribe. These honored individuals were considered caretakers of society. By being allowed to participate in society, it was felt they might have helpful insights and lead society in new directions.

Pauline Mitchell, Fred's mother, wanted her son to be a boy. When he was young, Fred wore cowboy hats, followed his dad around and wanted to be like his dad. However, as Fred grew older, he started using make-up, fixing his hair and wearing a bra to look beautiful. One evening Fred held a family conference and announced he wanted to be a girl. His brother made one comment, “Be careful.”

Pauline accepted Fred's decision and told the priest that it was time to prepare a celebration feast immediately—a concept not embraced by the priest and his Christian morals.
And:Two Spirits is a beautifully produced film documenting the tragic death of a transgender 16-year-old Navajo. Beyond that, it is a thoughtful, intelligent insight of contrasting views of sexuality. As suggested in the film, “Two Spirits,” the term used to define a person having both male and female spirits within the same body, makes homosexuality more easily explained than labels such as “lesbian” or “gay” and can be readily translated into other languages.

If everyone could journey into the Navajo world and share the view of a two-spirited person, the world would be a more tolerant place. Take this journey and view “Two Spirits.”
Comment:  I'm not sure Two Spirits will sway anyone who dislikes gays. It doesn't have a killer argument other than "live and let live" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But I agree that it's thoughtful and intelligent. It's worth a look if you're interested in the issues.

For more on the subject, see Two Spirits Documentary on PBS and Two Spirits Documentary Reviewed.


Anonymous said...

The only thing I had about Martinez was that the gay press implied he was killed by Indians.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you (Rob) can find racial discriminations about another race and comic book critiques with rabid devotion, yet, the killing of a gay native seems to be (yawn) acceptable and boring?