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Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country Paperback – October 1, 2006

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Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country + The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story + Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803271263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803271265
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Joseph Gilley is an Associate Proessor of Anthropology and the Director of the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center at Indiana University Bloomington.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on October 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only reason why I'm bringing this up first is because he starts the book this way. The text begins with the author saying that he's straight. He noted that many proof-readers and Two-Spirit men themselves were skeptical of that claim, but others said his sexual orientation gives gay studies legitimacy and that he'll be viewed as "objective" unlike what would be supposed of gay researchers. I am surprised that while he goes out of his way to declare his heterosexuality, he never says anything about his whiteness. Like almost all Two-Spirit books, this one was written by a Caucasian person. (Others include Walter Williams, Lester Brown, Sabine Lang, Will Roscoe, and the list goes on.) I don't know why the author feels that his sexual orientation stands out, but his race doesn't. Some Indians, of all sexualities, have said, "Don't send us your anthropologists!" I highly doubt that Two-Spirits thought nothing of his race, but only of his sexual identity. The author really needs to freshen up on books being written about whiteness and white privilege.

The most powerful impression this book left upon me is that Two-Spiritedness concerns action and not just labeling. Previously, I thought any gay person with some Native ancestry could call themselves Two-Spirit. This book, however, talks of how a legitimate Two-Spirit person would learn of their tribe's customs and dedicate themselves to helping others in the tribe. This promotion of communal action will impress Native heterosexuals, I imagine.

This book touches upon many issues that non-Native gay men and lesbians of color face.
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