What is an alternate gender?• Refers to gender identity, not sex.• Someone who is neither male nor female, even if they were born with male or female genitalia.• Typically males who take on female gender roles, although there are some exceptions (ex. Amazons).• In many cases are not viewed as homosexual even if they have sexual relations with same sex partners.• May be people who were assigned a gender at birth because of malformed sexual organs.• Third genders have been recognized throughout the world and history.
Chuckchi (Siberia)•Group of Shamanic people that identify a 3rdgender•3rd gender people are typically born as males buttake on female roles and characteristics•They generally marry males•May accompany men on hunt and may also stayhome and care for the family.
Mahu (Hawaii)•Can be biologically male or female.•Gender role is either somewhere between maleand female or both male and female.•Were considered sacred in ancient times butface discrimination today.
Faafafine (Samoa)•Biologically male but take on female genderroles and appearance.•Parents typically decide very early on to raisetheir male child as a Fa’afafine.•It is considered socially acceptable for males tohave sex with Fa’afafine and not be consideredhomosexual.•Fa’afafine typically take onfamily care roles.
Fakaleiti (Tonga)• Very similar to Fa’afafine.• Born biologically male but dress like females and take on female gender roles and mannerisms.• Are not considered homosexual.
Whakawahine & Wakatane (Maori, New Zealand)• Whakawahine are biological males who prefer the company of females.• Usually take on jobs that are typically female, such as weaving.• Wakatane are biological females who take on jobs that are typically male such as manual labor or warriors.
Ninauposkitzipxpe (Blackfoot)• Part of the North Peigan tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy located in Montana and Alberta, Canada.• Ninauposkitzipxpe means “manly hearted woman.”• Biological females who did not have to follow the social constraints of other females.
Winkte (Lakota)• Winkte means “two-spirited.”• Born as males but take on traditional female gender roles.• They typically cook and take care of the tribe’s children.• Take on traditionally female roles during rituals.
Lhamana (Zuni)• Another Native American “two-spirit” gender.• Person takes on both male and female roles at the same time.• Perform both traditionally male and female work.• Also take on the role of priests, mediators, and artists.
Nadleehi and Dilbaa (Navajo)• Another type of Native American “two-spirit” gender.• Nadleehi are born biologically male but possess both male and female spirits.• Dilbaa are biological females with masculine spirits.• Both are considered both male and female gendered.
Alyha and Hwame (Mohave)• The Mohave Indians identify four genders: male, female, alyha, and hwame.• Alyha are males that live as females.• Hwame are females that live as males.
Muxe (Zapotec of Oaxaca)• Muxe are males who dress as females or dress in male clothing but wear makeup.• Typically take on female social roles and occupations.• This term is often used to describe homosexual males, although not all muxe identify as gay.
Guevedoche (Dominican Republic)• One of the only cases where a recognized 3rd gender is because of pseudo-hermaphroditic trait.• Have genitals that are undifferentiated between male and female.• Typically raised as female.• Those who develop male traits as they go through puberty do not change to male, instead they lives as a 3rd gender, Guevedoche.
Quariwarmi (Inca, Peru)• The Quariwarmi were 3rd gender people who were ritual attendants or shamans.• Wore androgynous clothing.• Worshiped a two-gendered god, “chuqui chinchay.”
Travesti (South America)• Person who is born male but identifies as a female gendered person.• Usually dress and act typically female.• While they identify themselves with the female gender, they do not consider themselves female.• Many describe themselves as gay.
Skoptsy (Russia)• An alternate gender born out of a religious sect who believed that Adam and Eve had the forbidden fruit embedded in their bodies as testicles and breasts.• Made it part of the religious practice to cut off testicles and breasts to return themselves to a body free from parts that represented the forbidden fruit and the negative connotations associated with it.
Femminiello (Italy)• Biological males who take on female gender roles and dress as females.• Translated to English, Femminiello means “little man-woman.”• Highly regarded in society as privileged citizens through the 19th century.
Burrnesha (Albania)• Also known as “sworn virgins.”• Biological females who dress as males and take a vow of chastity.• Albanian society places high value in males; Burrnesha become sworn virgins to become highly regarded members of society.
köçek (Ottoman Empire)• Men who dressed and acted like females.• Joined together to form dance troupes that travelled around and performed sexually suggestive dances.• Were not gay but were often auctioned off as partners to the highest male bidder.
Mamluk (Egypt)• Young girls with masculine traits who were raised as boys.• Were awarded all of the legal and social advantages that girls were not allowed, but boys were.• This practice died out in the 1700’s.
Mino (Benin)• Women with masculine traits or who were thought to be aggressive.• Formed an all female regiment of warriors.• Mino were never married and never had children.
Bangala (DR Congo)• Shamans who dressed in women’s clothing.• The people believed that women had animist spirits that allowed them to solve crimes such as murders.
Ankole (Uganda)• Women who were elected by the people to dress and act as men.• Doing this allowed them to be an oracle to their god, Mukasa.
Ashtime (Maale, Ethiopia)• Ashtime were eunuchs who lived in the homes of political and spiritual leaders of the community.• They typically performed the household duties of biological females, who were forbidden from entering the homes of these important leaders.• Were given special privileges in return for their services.
Mashoga (Kenya, Tanzania)• Biological males who take on a female gender identity.• Usually wear both male and female clothing, but in a very distinct way that is only done by Mashoga.• Usually adopt typically female roles in society.
Sekrata (Madagascar)• Boys who were thought to have feminine characteristics were raised as girls.• Were taught to dress, act, and talk as women. Many forgot they were born male• The Sakalava people considered Sekrata sacred and believed they had supernatural protection.
Transsexuality in Iran• Homosexuality in Iran is to this day punishable by death.• Homosexual people and transgendered males are allowed to live as straight females in order to avoid being killed.• Many undergo reassignment surgery in order to be officially recognized as females.
Xanith (Oman)• Biological males who adopt traditional female roles, mannerisms, and dress.• Though they live as females, they maintain their given male name and maintain their rights as males, even those rights not afforded to females such as voting and having a paying job.
Metis (Nepal)• Biological males who dress and live as females, assuming typical female roles.• Do not consider themselves as homosexuals even though most of them typically make a living through prostituting themselves to males.• Have recently won the right to identify themselves as a 3rd gender with the Nepal government.
Hijra (South Asia)• Hijra are biological males who identify themselves with the female gender by dressing as females and taking on female roles.• Represent the half-male, half-female image of the god Shiva.• Consider themselves a 3rd gender, not male or female.• They are fairly integrated into and accepted by society.
Aravani (Tamil Nadu)• A subset of Hijra named after the mythical deity Aravan.• Biological males who adopt female gender identities and roles.
Acault (Myanmar)• Biological males who take on the roles and characteristics of females.• Some identify themselves as gay, but many do not.• Are respected as mediums and seers in an animistic society.
Kathoey (Thailand)• Kathoey means “ladyboy” in English.• Biological males who identify themselves as neither male nor female, but a 3rd gender all together.• They are thought to be males who have womanly hearts.• Usually dress and act female and hold typically female jobs.
Waria (Indonesia)• Born as males but typically identify as female.• Waria includes a wide range of males who identify as females, from those who only occasionally dress and act female but still define themselves as male, to those who live their lives as females.
Bakla (Philippines)• Biological males who assume the role of females.• They dress, act, and adopt social roles and jobs that are typical of females.• Have developed their own language that is a mixture of Filipino, English, and Spanish and is spoken with an over- exaggerated feminine intonation.
Calabai, Calalai, and Bissu (Indonesia)• Calabai are biological males who identify and live as females, but do not desire to become females.• Calalai are biological females who identify and live as males.• Bissu are both male and female but at the same time neither male nor female. They may be born as hermaphrodites. They dress in attire that only Bissu are allowed to wear.
ReferencesA Map of Gender Diverse Cultures. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/two-spirits/ .