The Beautiful Way Hawaiian Culture Embraces A Particular Kind Of Transgender Identity

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/28/hawaiian-culture-transgender_n_7158130.html?utm_hp_ref=world&ir=WorldPost

In Native Hawaiian culture, for instance, the idea of someone who embodies both the male and female spirit is a familiar and even revered concept. Gender identity is considered fluid and amorphous, allowing room for māhū, who would fall under the transgender umbrella in Western society.

“Māhū is the expression of the third self,” Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole, a Native Hawaiian activist and performer told Mana magazine. “It is not a gender, it’s not an orientation, it’s not a sect, it’s not a particular demographic and it’s definitely not a race. It is simply an expression of the third person as it involves the individual. When you find that place in yourself to acknowledge both male and female aspects within and accept the capacity to embrace both … that is where the māhū exists and true liberation happens.”

As an upcoming PBS documentary “Kumu Hina,” about a transgender woman and teacher, shows, māhū are thought to inhabit “a place in the middle.” …

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