“Two-spirit” celebration replaces Columbus Day at UVA

The University of Virginia did not celebrate Columbus Day this year.

Instead, they opted to celebrate 'Indigenous People’s Day,' including a celebration of 'two-spirit' people by the LGBTQ Center.

The University of Virginia (UVA) did not celebrate Columbus Day this year. Instead, UVA opted to celebrate “Indigenous People’s Day,” including a celebration of “two-spirit” people by the LGBTQ Center.

On October 9, UVA’s Multicultural Student Services announced on Instagram,“Indigenous People’s Day is Monday, October 10th! Join us in celebrating all week…recognizing the struggles and impacts of colonialism on indigenous communities.”

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The following day, the university’s LGBTQ Center held an event featuring a documentary about “two-spirit” people and an associated discussion.

According to a recent book on the subject, Reclaiming Two-Spirits, “two-spirit” people are those in the Native American community who “identif[y] as neither male nor female, but both.”

It is “an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person,” the book description continues.

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UVA’s “Queer/Trans Student of Color Resources” page has a special section dedicated to those who identify in this way. 

Campus Reform reached out to UVA, the LGBTQ Center, Multicultural Student Services, and Gregory Smithers, author of Reclaiming Two-Spirits, for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.