Most of the traditions of the American Indians have been passed down through oral history – including folk tales, myths, poems, and songs. Two-spirited people, those whose persona was both male and female, were active contributors to these tribal literatures.
A major two-spirited oracle to this literature, and certainly the most documented, was We’wha of the Zuni tribe. We’wha revealed Zuni myths and tales to anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson, who made her first trip to the Southwest in 1879 and afterwards, in the 1880’s, continued her yearly visits to further her study of the Zuni tribe. Largely self taught, Stevenson became the first woman paid as a staff government anthropologist in the late 1890’s.
Stevenson’s work brought to light the life of We’wha, the most famous of the two-spirited people.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]