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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Nov. 19: Documentary film 'Two Spirits'

Film concludes Diversity & International Education Week.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 11-15-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato will conclude its Diversity & International Education Week on Monday, Nov. 19 with a showing of the PBS documentary film “Two Spirits” at 7 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public.

A description of the film on a PBS website at says that “‘Two Spirits’ interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female, and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders.”

The film documents the life of Fred Martinez. A summary of the film on the PBS website describes Martinez as “a male-bodied person with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. He was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. ‘Two Spirits’ explores the life and death of this boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender.”

The panel will be followed by a discussion with local and national experts on the two spirit identity. The panel will include Richard La Fortune, a native two spirit community expert and organizer for LGBT rights. La Fortune is also a featured expert in the film.

The documentary and panel will be hosted by the Department of American Indian Affairs and Minnesota State Mankato’s LGBT Center.

American Indian Studies is an interdisciplinary program involving a number of Minnesota State Mankato departments and programs concentrated in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. American Indian Studies provides an interdisciplinary and broad understanding of American Indians, especially the Dakota, and their respective ways of life in the past, present, and future.

The LGBT Center provides support, advocacy, referral and sense of community to LGBTQQA students through education, programming, and activism.

Those interested in more information about this event, may visit or or call the LGBT Center at 507-389-5131 or the Office of American Indian Affairs at 507-389-6300.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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