US: These Stunning Portraits Show What It’s Like To Be A Two-Spirit Native American Today

On Feb. 3, the largest powwow to celebrate two-spirits was held in San Francisco.

"Two-spirit" is a term to unify the continuum of gender identities and expressions for Native Americans. According to photographer Matika Wilbur, who attended the event, "Prior to contact, Native Americans considered gender and sexuality as a continuum and there was a recognition of the masculine and feminine in all people. The process of colonization viciously resurfaced society in North America into a patriarchal, colonial, and heteronormative one, which forced the indigenous concepts of queerness and gender fluidity to sleep for centuries.

"Today, the term two-spirit has been widely adopted by Native Americans as the traditional terminology for the third gender, and in recent decades we have seen Indian two-spirit peoples reclaiming their rightful place and voice in the resistance."

The powwow was established in 2012 by the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits association as a part of an initiative to support the traditional spiritual, cultural, and artistic spaces for two-spirited people.

Wilbur attended the powwow as a part of a larger project documenting the 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States to preserve the imagery and history of contemporary Native culture. Read more and check out some of the collection via Buzzfeed