Simple List of Third Gender and Gender Variant Groups
I was going through some old notes about Trans Issues tonight and came across a list of Third Gender and Gender Variant groups from different cultures and time periods throughout the world. I compiled this list some time ago for a project that my girlfriend Widow Centauri was working on.
All of the groups listed here are considered as something other than or a variation upon what we in the Western World would consider to be “Male” and “Female”.
I have streamlined the information here so as simply to list the title or name of each “third gender” or “gender variant” cultural group I have found without specific definitions or delineations, which can be quite lengthy and/or complex.
The first such group in each culture or geographical area is followed by the name of the area and/or specific culture. All additional names and titles in the same area or culture are listed immediately below the first entry.
This list is not meant to be comprehensive or all-inclusive. I have included only entries where I could find a specific name or title or a simple English translation of such.
The reason for this list is that I could find no other collation of these materials in a simple internet search. I have drawn my information from a number of sources.
I hope that by posting this information in a simple to access and easy to digest form, I may impress upon anyone who is looking for it or who may stumble upon this blog that Trans people are not a new phenomenon or sub-culture. We have been an integral part of human history since the beginning. We are part and parcel of World Culture, now and yesterday. And we are not ever going to go away.
Please disseminate or link as you will.
Two-spirits – Native American
Berdache – Illiniwek (Illinois)
Muxes – Zapotec People, Oaxaca, Mexico
Travestís – Brazil
Guevedoche – Dominican Republic
Quariwarmi – Incan
The Sworn Virgin – Balkans
Catamites – Ancient Greece
Mollies – Modern England
Tertium genus hominum (a third human gender) “eunuchs” – Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
Ashtime – Maale culture of Southern Ethiopia
Mashoga – Swahili-speaking areas of the Kenyan coast, particularly Mombasa
Mangaiko – The Mbo people, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sḫt (“sekhet”) – Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2000-1800 BCE)
The Kurgarûs – Sumer
Zenanas – Arab
Xanith or Khanith – Oman
Alyha – Mohave
Hijras – India, Pakistan & Bangladesh
also known as: Aravani/Aruvani or Jogappa
Hijira (alt. sp.) – India
Sadhin – The Gaddhi in the foothills of the Himalayas
Basivi – Madras (area of India)
Tritiya-prakrti (third-nature) – Indic culture of premodern India
Ubhatobyanjanakas – Buddhist Vinaya
Kathoey – Thailand
Pandaka – Ancient Buddhist Societies
Fa’afafine – Samoa Polynesia
Fakaleiti – Tonga
Mahu Wahine – Hawaii
Mahu Vahine – Tahiti
Whakawahine – Māori
Akava’ine – Cook Islands
Kwolu-aatmwol – “Sambia” community in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea
bakla – Tagalog
Bayot – Cebuano
Agi – Ilonggo
Bantut – Tausug)
If you should happen to notice any omissions or would like to add to this list, please leave a comment or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love for this list to continue to grow. I’m sure there is much, much more that I have not yet found.