Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

I did not set out to write a book about Two-Spirit men and social acceptance. Rather, the research for this project began as an interest in how Native peoples were dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The focus changed the first evening I went to a meeting of the Green Country Two-Spirit Society, whose official mission is to design and implement ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

I owe a great deal to the men of the Green Country Two-Spirit Society and the Two-Spirit Society of Denver. Although they go unnamed for their own protection, I have thanked them personally and "in the right way." In particular I would like to thank the people whom I have named — Ben, Sheila, Glen, Mick, and Andy — in the book. Although their ...

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1. Seeking Self- and Social Acceptance

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pp. 1-22

Any illusions I had about reaching that moment in an ethnographer's fieldwork when the host population considers you "one of them" came crashing down when I was relegated to the "straight men's room." I had been conducting research on Two-Spirit (gay American Indian) men for not quite a year.1 I was visiting Denver, Colorado, to conduct ...

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2. From Gay to Indian

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pp. 23-50

Most gay Indians in the 20th century found their refuge in closeted isolation on reservations and rural Native communities or in the non-Native-dominated world of the gay underground in cities. Some of the people in this book are in their late forties and early fifties, and they remember what it was like to be involved in a popular gay culture that ...

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3. Adapting to Homophobia among Indians

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pp. 51-86

All of the Two-Spirit men in this book have had to, at one time or another, keep their sexual orientation a secret or attempt to "pass" to avoid bringing attention to their difference. Two-Spirit men have dealt with this necessity in various ways, both within Indian and non-Indian social contexts, such as denying one's orientation or "butching it up" to ...

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4. The Aesthetics of an Identity

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pp. 87-132

What Two-Spirit means, being of both male and female spirits, is almost never debated. But how to be Two-Spirit is something that elicits emotion, opinion, and at times outrage. I have seen the men in this book struggle with the various ways Two-Spirit is both a way to think of oneself and a set of ideals that one must meet. Ideals are complicated by ...

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5. Cultural Compromise at Work

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pp. 133-164

The ways in which Two-Spirit men see themselves as unwanted by their communities can overwhelm how they see themselves as Native peoples. At the same time, Two-Spirit organizations such as the Green Country Society and the Denver Society focus on giving Two-Spirit men the opportunity to "be Two-Spirit." Being a Two-Spirit man, as I ...

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6. Mending the Hoop

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pp. 165-180

Two-Spirit men's efforts at cultural compromise go largely unnoticed by their tribal communities. Two-Spirit men also feel that they have an obligation to their individual tribes and Indian people in general. While Two-Spirit sexuality and gender identity is structurally denied expression in mainstream Native society, the men are actively attempting to ...

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7. Difference and Social Belonging in Indian Country

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pp. 181-190

As the members of the Green Country and Denver societies would agree, Two-Spirit people do not represent an alternative form of Indianness. Rather, they are and see themselves as committed to formally accepted community standards of social behavior and moral responsibility. Nonetheless, Two-Spirit people represent a contradiction ...

Notes

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pp. 191-200

Works Cited

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pp. 201-208

Index

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pp. 209-213