Cover for JACOBS: Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality

Two-Spirit People

Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize for an edited book given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists, 1997.

This landmark book combines the voices of Native Americans and non-Indians, anthropologists and others, in an exploration of gender and sexuality issues as they relate to lesbian, gay, transgendered, and other "marked" Native Americans.

Focusing on the concept of two-spirit people--individuals not necessarily gay or lesbian, transvestite or bisexual, but whose behaviors or beliefs may sometimes be interpreted by others as uncharacteristic of their sex--this book is the first to provide an intimate look at how many two-spirit people feel about themselves, how other Native Americans treat them, and how anthropologists and other scholars interpret them and their cultures.

1997 Winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize for an edited book given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists.

"Collaborative scholarship at its best. Includes the voices of contemporary Native American two-spirit people and combines their commentary with that of anthropologists and other scholars. Two-Spirit People will be a turning point in the study of the Native American berdache."--Louise Lamphere

"Makes spectacular contributions to current understandings of 'third gender' constructions in American Indian societies and in other settings. . . . This volume converts a lifeless, stereotyped image into a vast array of living, breathing, thinking, and talking people who are in no sense dependent for voice on non-Indian scientists."--William L. Leap, coeditor of Out in the Field: Reflections of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists

Sue-Ellen Jacobs, a professor of women studies and adjunct professor of anthropology and music at the University of Washington, is the coauthor of Winds of Change: Women in Northwest Commercial Fishing. A veteran of many years with the Indian Health Service, Wesley Thomas (Navajo) has extensive experience working with the Native American gay and lesbian community and two-spirit gatherings. Sabine Lang, an anthropologist living in Hamburg, Germany, is the author of Men as Women - Women as Men: Gender-Role Change in North American Cultures.

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