Many Indigenous cultures also embraced “two-spirit” people who did not conform to specific gender roles or took on tasks normally associated with those of the opposite sex (Gray, 2011).

The fluidity of gender was inherent in Native cultural views of the world.  Some Native cultures understood that there were four genders rather than two: man, woman, the two-spirit womanly males and the two-spirit manly females” (Anderson, 2000, p. 89).

Often, these individuals were thought to be spiritually attuned and able to relate to both males and females; a trait which allowed them to take on roles as mediators (Gray, 2011).  Some would take on gender-specific roles of the opposite gender or act as Shamans.  The term Two-spirit was coined by academics as a way of recognizing First Nations beliefs of genders as more than strictly male and female.  Many First Nations LBGTQ individuals today now identify as Two-spirit (Gray, 2011).  Despite their healthy and honourable history, various levels of homophobia now exist among Indigenous individuals, families and communities.  As Gray (2011) points out, “This change was brought about through the introduction of euro-centric religious based beliefs that devalued LGBT people” (p. 36).