Decolonizing gender through ICT: a semiotic analysis of web images from Two-Spirit people websites

Jose Ortiz

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review


Freedom of self-expression is essential for human development. Recent studies have investigated ICT’s role in bringing visibility to activist movements working to improve the lives of gender and sexual minorities. However, this literature often characterizes visibility based on gender or sexuality alone, with little regard for ethnic identity and gender traditions of Indigenous cultures. This paper conducts a semiotic analysis of images from Two-Spirit websites to examine how websites bring visibility to Two-Spirit people. Two-Spirit is a contemporary term used by Indigenous Peoples of North America that denotes the fluidity of gender identity through the coexistence of feminine and masculine qualities. The analysis shows how values of empowerment, supportiveness, and restoration in web images bring visibility to Two-Spirit people through cultural emancipation. This study contributes to the ICT for development literature by broadening our understanding of ICT’s role in bringing visibility to efforts for self-expression free of racism and homophobia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology for Development
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • decolonization
  • Gender and sexual minority
  • semiotics
  • Two-Spirit
  • visibility
  • web images


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