Arts & Entertainment

Review: Two-spirit experiences found in 'Sovereign Erotics'

"Edited by Qwo-Li Driskill, Deborah Miranda, Daniel Heath Justice and Lisa Tatonetti, Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2011)is a landmark book—the first Native gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit (GLBTQ2) prose and poetry anthology since Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology (St. Martin’s Press, 1998).

While not every writer in Sovereign Erotics directly addresses the GLBTQ2 experience, the majority tackle the subject in a way that many straight Native people can understand—in terms of alienation. The difference is that two-spirits experience an additional level of alienation within their own culture, even though over the past two decades the original acceptance of two spirits has been returning. Which is curious, considering that heterosexuality may have simply been invented by the Germans—see Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality.

A good example is found in an excerpt from Craig Womack’s 2001 novel Drowning in Fire, in which the main character is teased by the other boys in the tribe. The story ultimately revolves around a mythical snake, which through post-contact eyes becomes a very effective Freudian phallic symbol."

Get the Story:
Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature (Indian Country Today 2/26)

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