HRC Blog

“TWO SPIRITS”, Story of Murdered Navajo Teen, to Air Nationally on PBS: Independent Lens

TWO SPIRITS is a film about Fred Martinez, a Navajo teen who didn’t want to have to choose between being a boy or a girl– he wanted to be both.  According to the ancient Navaho culture, it was a gift to be born with a male body and a feminine nature.  In an earlier era, he would have been revered.  Instead, he was brutally murdered at the age of sixteen for embracing his identity and living the life he was born to live.

From the director of the film, Lydia Nibley:

Making the film TWO SPIRITS began when I sat with Fred’s mother at his grave and she poured out her heart to me.

The experience transformed me from someone who had very little awareness, to someone who fully embraces gender diversity, because I see how much it adds to all of our lives.The tragic story of a mother’s loss of her child to a brutal murder has challenged us to answer the question she raised, “Why are people killed for being who they are?” And learning that there was a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female, and that there is a place of honor in many Native American cultures for people across a spectrum of sexuality and gender expression, has been a gift.

Vote for the film for PBS' Audience Award here and give it 5 stars:

Visit for information on ways you can help spread the word about this truly remarkable story, or to purchase your copy of the DVD. You can also purchase the video for download on iTunes.

HRC is proud to be an Outreach Partner Organization of such an amazing film.

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