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    The māhū flag.
    A Māhū Lesbian flag designed by pesterchum

    Māhū is a traditional third gender from Native Hawaiian culture. Historically māhū were assigned male at birth (AMAB), but in modern usage, māhū can refer to a variety of genders and sexual orientations.[1]

    In pre-American Hawaiʻi, māhū were notable priests, healers, and teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. Māhū often performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women. Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies and the Hawaiian language (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi).

    Since the term māhū can have multiple spaces and experiences, the terms Māhū Kāne (transgender man) and Māhūahine (transgender woman, sometimes written as Māhū Wahine) were coined by renowned māhū Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.

    Later, these terms were adjusted by Wong-Kalu, and split into four new words.[2]

    Haʻawahine is a term used for AMAB people that are emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and culturally female. If they have begun dressing femininely and/or physically transitioned (through HRT or surgery) the term Hoʻowahine is used instead.

    Haʻakane is a term used for AFAB people that are emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and culturally male. If they have begun dressing masculinely and/or physically transitioned (through HRT or surgery) the term Hoʻokane is used instead.

    Flag

    The māhū flag was designed by an anonymous submitter to the Tumblr blog ask-pride-color-schemes on January 20, 2016.[3] The colors come from the Kānaka Maoli flag, which is a flag made to represent Native Hawaiians (Kānaka Maoli). The plant is known in Hawaiian as pamakani mahu.

    Etymology

    Māhū translates to "in the middle".

    Resources


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