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Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

An Aztec Two-Spirit Cosmology: Re-sounding Nahuatl Masculinities, Elders, Femininities, and Youth

By Gabriel S. Estrada, 2004

Quetzalcoatl sparkles on the dark morning horizon as my mother pushes me out of her bleeding body. Quetzalcoatl, the morning star Venus, is a cool and dazzling twin to me, a steaming newborn birthed in the fiery menudo of the uterus. My mother’s words to my waiting father slowly pop like small pink bubbles on a red pool of adrenaline, “Well, you’ve got your boy.” He doesn’t hear her speak. In his dark reflective eyes, I am but a wavering mirage, a small sun waiting to envelop the whole world in my brightness, power, and laughter. Yet around this small mirage, the pale hospital lies like a silver sliver of moon in winter solstice, the longest night of 1970. Quetzalcoatl is but one of the last in a constellation of stars to flash a fading dance across an endless indigo sky. “Gabriel,” the name my mother dreams for me, will slowly bleed its indigo form onto the ivory of certificates, journals, or love notes scented in both rose and musk. From nine pulsating months of darkness, I am born into a sequined skywomb of greater darkness.

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