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Two Spirit People:
American Indian Lesbian Women and Gay Men

Lester B. Brown, Ph.D., Editor

1997, Harrington Park

108 Pages

From the Cover

Two Spirit People is the first-ever look at social science research exploration into the lives of American Indian lesbian women and gay men.  Editor Lester B. Brown posits six gender styles in traditional American Indian culture: men and women, not-men and not-women (persons of one biological sex assuming the identity of the opposite sex in some form), and gays and lesbians.  He brings together chapters that emphasize American Indian spirituality, present new perspectives, and provide readers with a beginning understanding of the place of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Indians within American Indian culture and within American society.  This beginning will help you understand these unique people and the special challenges and multiple prejudices they face.

"A welcome contribution to the literature on sexual roles and identity within American Indian cultures....A MUST READ FOR EDUCATORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND OTHER PROVIDERS OF SOCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES." - Wynne DuBray, Professor, Division of Social Work, California State University

"Contributes to readers' knowledge of important cultural areas that have not been the subject of previous scientific inquiry....Helps us see that family and community acceptance of lesbians and gays is possible...The contributors report cultural nuances that may help with effective interventions....Brown and his associates have made AN EXCEPTIONAL FIRST EFFORT AT UNDERSTANDING A GROUP OF PEOPLE PREVIOUSLY UNSTUDIED." - From the Foreword by Laura Epstein, Professor Emerita, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Table of Contents

Foreword - Laura Epstein

Preface: Sharing the Gift of Sacred Being - Duane Champagne

Introduction - Lester B. Brown


Women and Men, Not-Men and Not-Women, Lesbians and Gays: American Indian Gender Style Alternatives - Lester B. Brown

Gender Selection in Two American Indian Tribes - Little Crow, Judy A. Wright, Lester B. Brown

American Indian Lesbians and Gays: An Exploratory Study - Mary Ann Jacobs, Lester B. Brown


Urban Lesbian and Gay American Indian Identity:  Implications for Mental Health Service Delivery - Karina L. Walters

That's What They Say:  The Implications of American Indian Gay and Lesbian Literature for Social Service Workers - Judy A. Wright, Melodie A. Lopoez, Lora L. Zumwalt


Developing AIDS Services for Native Americans: Rural and Urban Contrasts - Ron Rowell

AIDS Prevention in a Rural American Indian Population:  A Collaborative Effort Between Community and Providers - Elizabeth DePoy, Claire Bolduc

Readers' Comments



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glen alley  res080mm@verizon.net

This book is outstanding! It makes clear the many ways in which American Indian gender identity is fluid, thus there are many alternatives. The other book published by the U. of Illinois Press on the same topic is an edited work and is a standard anthropology treatise. But Brown et al. write more clearly and for a greater audience--one that likes to know a somewhat esoteric subject, but also wants an accessible and readable book.

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Sharon Pelletier  l.pelletier

Being of two spirits is not possible. Our Creator made His only Son with one spirit as well as all people of the earth. Why on earth would gay people be blessed with two? I find their reasoning on the topic only attempts to legitimize their behavior and will always remain theory.

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johnson  mjmohawk20002000

i was living as "they" thought i should, then i was just lost. i was miserable back then and i didnt know why-i knew i was different, not on the outside, but inside. after reading Two Spirit People,along with others, it is all starting to make sense. RESEARCH, clarified everything that was mixed up in my head-not saying that this book is the "guide", but a really useful tool in Native Two Spirit idendity.