ANSWERS | What does the 2 in LGBTQ2 mean?

The LGBTQ2 is not a widely used acronym and is not widely used outside Canada. However, its popularity is on the rise.

What does the 2 in LGBTQ2 mean?

The 2 in LGBTQ2 stands for ‘two-spirit’. It is an umbrella term for being a “two spirit” described as a Native (North) American who identifies as non-binary, non-cisgendered or genderqueer. It could also refer to someone who identifies as non-heterosexual. It is used to describe certain spiritual people. It is not interchangeable with LGBT Native American.

Wikipedia explains, “it is a sacred, spiritual and ceremonial role that is recognised and confirmed by the Elders of the Two Spirit’s ceremonial community. While some have found the term a useful tool for intertribal organising, not all Native cultures conceptualise gender or sexuality this way, and most tribes use names in their own languages.”

It was adopted in 1990 to replace an outdated and now considered offensive term.


The term is not widely used outside North America.

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