Definition: In Native American cultures, men and women who did not fit the gender stereotypes were often revered and seen as healers or shamans. Gender bending women were often teachers and warriors. Men were healers and nurturers. French explorers who came upon the Native peoples called these two-spirit individuals "Berdache," which was a derogatory word meaning "slave boy." Today, many Native tribes find this term offensive and prefer the term "two-spirit."
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