Native Americans Treated Trans People Better Than We Do Now

When you hear the angry rhetoric from politicians about preserving gendered bathrooms and abolishing transgender rights, you might think, "If things are still this tough for transgender people today, I can't imagine how bad they were in the past." While that's not always wrong, it's not always right, either.

Hundreds of years ago, some Native American tribes actually held a deep respect for people who identified themselves as outside the gender binary -- or as they were called, "two-spirits." It was believed that such people were especially important, as they could participate in all aspects of Native life, rather than those reserved for one gender. In fact, some tribes saw it as crucial to recognize the balance between one's masculine and feminine sides.

via WikipediaSadly, both sides got screwed by Manifest Destiny in the end.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Two-spirits were often free to express themselves in ways that many transgender people today still cannot. A transgender Zuni princess named We'wha even served as Native American cultural ambassador to Washington back in the late 1800s. Perhaps someday, modern America will become as socially enlightened as Native tribes of three centuries ago. But, uh ... baby steps, America.

For more on the subject of Two Spirits, pick up a copy of Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Support Cracked's journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out Here's How They Made The 'Roars' In The Lion King and The Real Santa Claus' Corpse Is Scattered All Across Europe.

Follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

219 Comments

Load Comments

More Articles

5 Screwed-Up Secrets The Ultra-Rich Don't Want You To Know

You don't make astonishing amounts of money without ending up a jerk in some way.

229

5 Crazy Statistics That'll Change How You Think Of Crime

Criminal behavior can be influenced by some very weird, seemingly random factors.

156

5 Billion-Dollar Industries That Treat Workers Like Garbage

Even our most popular forms of entertainment can treat their employees like absolute trash.

251

5 Huge Scandals With Crazy Details The News Barely Mentioned

The news spent weeks reporting on these giant scandals without bothering to mention the stupidest parts.

126

6 Iconic Movies And Shows That Were Outright Ripoffs

Even Hollywood couldn't deny these films were total thievery.

124

5 Acts Of Charity That Went Horrendously Wrong

The road to losing your tax exemption status is paved with good intentions.

108