Culture

These Third Genders From Cultures Around The World Prove It's Not As Black And White As People Think

While nonbinary definitions of gender may sound like a recent phenomenon, many different religions and cultures - both past and present - acknowledge and even celebrate nontraditional gender roles. Third genders from around the world reach from Madagascar to the Dominican Republic, and nonbinary history dates all the way back to 2000 BCE in the form of Egyptian artwork. Many highlight important parts of LGBTQ history. But many other modern and historical third genders remain more difficult to classify than just as a person who identifies as gender fluid. This is because cultures throughout the world possess different understandings and/or definitions of gender and, as such, the term "gender fluid" fails to define their varying complexities.

Even still, these global interpretations of gender provide insight into how humans around the world interpret sexuality, identity, and even spirituality. While Christians believe breaking from the gender binary leads to sin and damnation, many others religions view nonconforming peoples as beings with a great connection to a higher power. There are even of examples of third genders in cultures you’d least expect: Viking sexuality and gender never adhered to any strict guidelines, and the people of Pakistan - despite resisting the notion of gay and transgender people - have a long history with third genders. Modern culture may just be getting around to the idea of gender binaries as obsolete, but history reveals that many of our ancestors already thought the same thing.

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