Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

2 Spirit and Mayan Culture


Carolyn Marie

Recommended Posts

  • Admin

I attended a seminar today on issues related to Mexican and Central American indigenous cultures. One of the speakers was a Mayan from Guatemala, who, among things, is a spiritual leader in the local Mayan community.

After the seminar, I had a chance to talk to him privately. He knows me from pre-transition days but we don't know each other well. I mentioned that I had heard that some indigenous and ancient cultures considered transfolk to be two-spirit and held them in high regard, and was curious what he knew of that from his own knowledge of Mayan spirituality.

He told me that there is no equivalent philosphy in the Mayan culture. Ones being, or soul if you will, is set at the time of birth and cannot be changed. What a person's future will be is largely dependent on the calendar, on the month, date and time of birth. The calendar plays an extremely important part in Mayan life and belief systems.

He did say that it is Mayan belief that a person should strive to find spiritual peace and oneness with the universe. I told him that my change from male to female has brought me such inner peace. He seemed to understand and appreciate that, and accept me for who I am without judgement.

I suppose I was a little disappointed, but I also know that no two cultures are the same. I also know myself well enough to know that validation of that type is not necessary for me. It was more curiosity than anything else.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

Link to comment
Guest GinaInside

In the early 1970's, there was a movie with Dustin Hoffman, called "Little Big Man". By that time, I was very aware that I was very different...

In the movie, there was a TG/Two Spirit member of the tribe which Dustin Hoffman was staying with. I was rather shocked and amazed at the character, being brought up in a rather strict environment. I could not have dreamed that anyone, especially a tribe, would allow such a person to be open! I did'nt know how to process that, and did'nt learn about Two Spirit for many years. There is also another name, "Berdache".

It was not until many years later still, that I learned that many cultures around the world, since history was recorded, have had some equivalent to Two Spirit.

Link to comment
  • Admin

In thinking about the cultures that I have learned about that did recognize the two spirit phenomena, all of the ones I am aware of were in the more northerly parts of the US and some in the northern European countries. I have a very small amount of Native American blood, and it is from the north central plains area. (A great great great grandchild relation.) I wonder if there is a reason or even really the pattern like what I see??? Then why would there be a development in one area and not the other???

Link to comment

Interesting point Vicky! It is entirely possible that there is a genetic factor and not a genetic factor that causes one to be TG but rather a genetic factor that increases a females risk of giving birth to children not fully aligned with their birth sex. If so then it is entirely possible these anamolies could be isolated to more geographical regions in the ancient world but since they're not seemingly racially specific its hard to equate it to genetics alone. Obviously nothing is impossible.

And from something I read somewhere Mayans and Aztecs usually killed Homosexuals or transgendered people in their society. Much like pur modern society today they seemed to have very strict gender boundaries. I too was very dissapointed. I kinda hoped this thread would disprove that. Not even sure where I read that now.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...
Guest Squallsong

South and Central American beliefs are indeed very different than Northern tribes. Even among the groups with "Two Spirit" there is discrimination against them that has developed since the rebirth of Native culture (which had been outlawed for three generations). Many shaman and medicine people refuse to acknowledge "Two Spirit" ever existed, refuse to minister to them, or simply hate them ("Two Spirit" have always been considered more powerful and that can cause envy from those who are mostly interested in financial gain). This is a current issue that has surfaced among plains and Northern tribes (one report I've read also indicates California as well). I myself have maintained my secrecy because of it, and having learned that it is an issue, I am struggling with the notion that I should stand up and declare my "Two Spirits", because I am quite respected for my apparent abilities...and my mandate doesn't allow me to profit from doing my duty. I want to make it easier for other "Two Spirit", but I also must continue to teach our beliefs, which will be difficult if I lose that respect...and very few true shaman remain. (then I think that maybe others out there like me will follow, and the argument ensues...and for some reason, I can never win in an argument against me...I gotta work on that! :banghead: )

"Berdache" was a term used in "New France", starting in Newfoundland Canada and swathing through North America, from New England to Florida (West of the Appalachians) encompassing the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, Westward to Saskatchewan and Southward all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Nevada. The treaties of the day stated that lands with any rivers flowing into the Mississippi were "New France", so that included a lot of the Midwest and Western States. Prior to contact, these tribes were also settled all down the entire Eastern coast of the USA, possibly even all of Florida.

I've found that Algic, Iroquoian and Siouan* peoples were about as far South as the "Two Spirit" went. DNA typing sets these three very closely related, as well as apart from any others in North America. All of them also shared similar "religions".

Their legends and lore counter the "out of Africa" theory of migration as is commonly believed (and using Biology, Geology, and Tectonics, I would tend to think they may be right) Their stories all dictate that they migrated West and South from the area around New Brunswick, not East from Asia, over the Arctic, nor North from South America. If they are correct, South American peoples and Western peoples are both different people from them (as indicated by their DNA).

It is very plausible that genetics has some bearing on the gender issue...I know it runs in my family, through my Mother's Wabinaki-Algonquin lineage, back at least 5 generations in ALL of the males born of the maternal line. All of these tribes were matrilineal as well...when a woman married outside of her tribe, her husband was adopted into her community. This could maintain an X trait within the DNA of a population indefinitely.

Another theory that could explain it is wars among the various tribes...Southern tribes typically sacrificed their captives, while Northeastern tribes would adopt them, often feminizing captured warriors that would not serve their new tribe as warriors (they were made to do the women's work). This was more progressive from East to West, as the plains and Southern tribes were more nomadic and relied less on farming and more on hunting herd animals and raiding. It could very well have become a learned behavior, as these feminized males would have been tending the younger children.

Another theory is evolution. Assuming three separate peoples, some would have been settled, while others were busy migrating...some evolutionists have surmised that as a people evolves, gender does as well. Viewing Greek and Roman history, gender variance became pronounced as their civilizations developed. Those evolutionists explain that it is similar to human gender development as we age...women enter menopause (developing masculine traits), and men become less masculine when they age, and the evolutionists point out that it occurs as societies become stabilized. There was peace among the tribes of the Northeast that is said to have dated back beyond the last ice age.

Validation or acceptance among "Two Spirit" of these tribes would never have been an issue before contact, given their cultural beliefs.

*Algic, Iroquoian and Siouan are the language groupings, not individual tribes. There are over a hundred different tribes within just these three language groups.

Be well and take care!

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 60 Guests (See full list)

    • rachel w
    • unknown
    • MiraM
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      74.9k
    • Total Posts
      695.1k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      8,716
    • Most Online
      8,356

    Jamie x
    Newest Member
    Jamie x
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. martin
      martin
      (43 years old)
    2. sweetgirl919
      sweetgirl919
      (43 years old)
    3. Thenewsteph
      Thenewsteph
      (27 years old)
    4. UnknownReality
      UnknownReality
      (32 years old)
  • Posts

    • neo3000
      suits. even tho they're quite formal, blazers and trousers make me feel like a man.  but also the baggy t-shirt/big jacket/straight jeans combo. they make me feel like any other boy my age, it makes me feel very happy.  
    • Nora
      Edit: ...as MOST if not all human beings are lol.
    • Nora
      ...Buuut...crap. This might be one of those social situations where I just shouldn't say anything, but I'm a little drunk, so I'm gonna risk it LOL. Here goes it: The first thing that comes to mind, is...there is no free will. ...For anyone to decide to do anything at all is simply an illusion; a beautiful lie. The reality of the matter is that due to the laws of nature and the laws of physics, EVERYTHING is pre-determined; written in stone the moment gravity first got it's foothold in this most-likely-fake thing humans like to call the Universe. For me to think that I have any kind of say in anything at all just seems to be laughably absurd to me. ...We're all slaves to fatalistic destiny. No one is really responsible or to be blamed for anything in Universe. ...And that's pretty much the only way I've found for me to forgive people who hurt me and others...it's not their fault; they know not what they do lol. The second thing that came to mind is WAY less deep; it's simply that it occurred to me that perhaps a part of me doesn't really like the word "Dysphoria" because it sounds like a mental illness. I'm not sick. Nothing's wrong with me. I'm merely dissatisfied with various aspects of my body, as all human beings are. Thinking of myself as "dysphoric" just feels...WEIRD lol. XD
    • Nora
      Edit: ...and part of middle school before "the incident." Sorry; I zoned out and re-lived some crap for a sec. I'm fine LOL. XD
    • Nora
      Thanks for sharing! That makes a lot more sense; the social dysphoria you describe is something I've felt for literally decades, in the sense I never really got along with the boys and preferred playing house with the girls, especially when I got to be the baby LOL. 😆 Got bullied all throughout elementary school, and part of elementary school before "the incident" happened when I was twelve, and then I prefer to just fast forward five years later at the age of seventeen and just skip that violent-gorey-horror-movie section of my life that led to copious amounts of drug and alcohol abuse which continues to this day despite my nurse's wishes lol. Then the good old fashioned bullying from when I was kid resumed all throughout my five year long firefighting career starting at seventeen. It was nice; I actually enjoyed the hazing; it was WAY nicer than...the period of time we shall never speak of...at least not tonight. =P
    • Nora
    • Nora
      Indeed, I should not care what others think or say, but alas, I just can't help myself lol. I'm terrified of causing a scene. I live in a town fulla cowboys, mountain men and rednecks. ...What if one of them's a psychotic bigot? ...What if they go after my mother? ...What if I can't do anything to protect her? ...I'd probably end up becoming a serial killer who targets transphobes, collecting locks of their hair in a scrapbook as trophies; THAT'S WHAT! Rotflol. 🤣   ...And I just CAN'T let that happen lmao. XD ...I'll get out of the house more in a few years or so LOL. XD
    • Delcina B
      Thanks @stveee ! There are so many common threads in your story & mine. I kind of regret not thinking of feminizing my clothes, it would've given me a bigger wardrobe. ICurrrently: finally ready to face myself, sober, and will begin with a gender therapist who is transitioned. Questioning whether I desire or need to transition to female. I was right there nine months ago, so happy to have found this forum, & a wonderful gender therapist. I too feel more alive & someone is unfolding on this journey into my femme.   Hugs! Delcina
    • Mia Marie
      That's no way to live. I have been this way and I am just getting to the point it doesn't really bother me to walk around the women's dept and look to see what treasure I can find to wear. I am in the building stage with my wardrobe and I know it will take me a long time to find just the right garment to buy and wear. I have been working on my transition actually for the last couple of years, but medically transitioning for the last year. I can say I am not as nervous today with wanting to step out as my authentic self. I want to do it more and sometimes it seems exciting and all I can do is smile. I don't care if I am presenting correctly. It is my differences that make me better see what to do next. I have a plan to go to the mall and sit, watch and learn what will make me better. Fear shouldn't become the factor for not presenting in public. You shouldn't care what others think and say.
    • Davie
      "It's not the mountain we conquer,    but ourselves."     — Edmund Hillary 
    • Delcina B
      Welcome Vincent! Glad you're here. I think you'll find it a great place as I have with lots of loving support, advice & acceptance to help you on your journey.   Hugs! Delcina
    • AgnesBardsie
      Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. It is very helpful!
    • stveee
      I want to feel cute but comfy, so it's either nightshirts/nightgowns lounging around the house, or an off the shoulder top or crop top really makes me feel girly. 
    • stveee
      Hi, my name is Stevie. I started "crossdressing" in early teens, maybe before, by cutting up my clothing. My parents would find piles of them and who knows what they thought. But I just had to do it. Then when I was 16 was the first time I tried on my older sister's tops.    My father suggested I join the Army after high school. I did and would buy clothes for my girlfriends and end up wearing them. I would engage in intimacy but stopped short of sex. I felt like my genitalia was not connected to my mind and felt no pleasure through it.    While in the military I took to binge drinking and severe depression ensued. By the time of discharge, I was suicidal, had several attempts and detoxes. I was admitted into the VA hospital and the first two meds made me numb and psychosis developed. Then, I genuinely tried to take my own life. Finally, a few years later, put on disability and took prozac for around 12 years which helped a bit. I met my first transgender (older transitioned MtF) persons in the VA and basically brought up the idea: why can't I be somewhere in the middle gender? Answer I got was basically Honey, that's not how it works. So facing a transition to female, I think I was 28 at the time, seemed like what I had to do. Or at least, try to live as much female as possible. I ended up marrying because I was lonely and afraid I could not support myself, and she accepted my gender ID and crossdressing. But I was seeing no therapist, no hormones. Started electrolysis in this DIY attempt, and some kind of facial hormone cream which I didn't realize was all short-sighted. Early internet days, shoddy information, sketchy sites.  The marriage was a disaster as there was abuse, drugs, alcohol and our individual psychological issues. Finally was separated, on my own and basically just existing. Using substances to cope. Dead to the world. Continued to keep a wardrobe and just managing the "dual life".  Went through Vocational Rehab in a janitorial program to get back into work. Exterted myself and got the job I have today and making more than I ever did. A few years, tossed my wardrobe (again)...oh, except a few things of course, and thinking the dysphoria will just go away now that I am older. Nope.   Currrently: finally ready to face myself, sober, and will begin with a gender therapist who is transitioned. Questioning whether I desire or need to transition to female. Accumulating another wardrobe. Really regret tossing my shoes and I had some really cool things. I have the feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing a girl in there, buried under years of self-abuse. The fluidity is a bit precarious as the more I accept and go femme, the more alive I feel, like something is unfolding.  But I am still quite boyish and discovering what fits for me right now and the my physical limitations and working with them I guess as I am not just confined to the closet and want to be seen for who I am...which is a work in progress I suppose. There are still things about me that I very much like and don't want to change, and others which seem to cause conflict.  I get some comfort in realizing I do not necessarily have to be either one or the other gender right now, and it's more about how I feel about myself than passing or trying to live up to an ideal image. But sort of feel like a small minority as someone who has not gone through all the changes (yet?) of the transitioned, as I am still outing myself in small steps, in a small circle. I am naturally careful, but honest. I do not fear being hurt so much "out there", as I know from experience I am my own worst enemy and cause my own difficulties more than anyone could ever do.  Thank you for letting me share. I actually hope this has helped someone else who is lurking. After all, "Normal People" don't go years struggling with questioning their gender- we are all Trans here and in different chapters of the same story.  Love you All, S.
    • Vince94
      Hey, everyone! I'm on low dose T now for about 7 months, I use Testogel and, except for a few more whiskers and other very little changes, there hasn't really happened anything yet. I don't wanna say I'm not happy with what has changed but I really wish for a little more, especially after that time. My dose is really low, now I want to take twice as much and hope to get closer to my goal during the next months. But there are two things I'm a little worried about so I thought maybe someone here could help me! About two or three months after I've started HRT, I noticed that I'm losing much more hair than before. It still looks totally okay but there IS a difference. Do you think I will lose even more when I increase the dose? I mean, if that's the case I will accept it. Before I started HRT I was waaay more worried about that. Now it's not that much of a problem for me anymore but it would still be nice to know what to expect. :'D And the second thing (which I'm more afraid of): I've read that transmen on Testosterone have to have their internal female parts removed (uterus and ovaries, as far as I know) because else the risk will be higher to develop cancer. I don't know if that's true and if yes, how quickly I have to do that to prevent anything! I'm afraid I'll have less time to undergo that treatment when I increase my dose, and I don't know when I'll be ready for that. (It's not that I want to keep those parts, I just have a problem with hospitals and suffer from panic attacks when it comes to certain check ups or medical treatments...) And another question that's just coming to my mind: Will the removal of those parts have any other effects on my physical and mental health?   I want to talk with my gynaecologist about all that anyway but I'd still like to hear some opinions/experiences from other transmen (or non-binary persons on T or others who know more than I do)! I don't know how much my gynaecologist knows about the whole topic, and unfortunately, I can't talk with my endocrinologist about it because she probably can't tell me ANYTHING. I don't wanna sound mean but she's really not competent, and I'm not the only one who noticed that. Everytime I was there, I've had bad experiences. She gave me wrong information. Not to mention the assistants. But she's the only endocrinologist within my reach so I don't have much of a choice.   So, I hope someone here can share their knowledge/experiences with me; I'd be grateful for any answer!
  • Upcoming Events

Contact TransPulse

TransPulse can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: Click Here.

To report an error on this page.

Legal

Your use of this site is subject to the following rules and policies, whether you have read them or not.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
DMCA Policy
Community Rules

Hosting

Upstream hosting for TransPulse provided by QnEZ.

Sponsorship

Special consideration for TransPulse is kindly provided by The Breast Form Store.
×
×
  • Create New...