Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
Sistergirl is an Aboriginal-English term similar in meaning to 'transgender'.
For those unfamiliar with Indigenous Australia, it was a somewhat multicultural place prior to European colonisation/invasion - consisting of many language groups - Koori, Goori, Murri, Nyoongah, Goori, Yolngu, Nunga, Anangu, Palawa, Ngarrindjeri, Torres Strait Islanders, Mer Islanders, Murray Islanders. Each of these language groups consisting of individual nations/clans/tribes - with their own traditional lands, customs, dialect and culture. Over 500 nations in total.
In many nations pre-colonisation, there were traditional roles and identities for those who fell outside of the gender binary. Of course, the European missionaries did their darnedest to stamp out gender variance and sexual variance.
Sistergirls are generally designated male at birth but dress, live and identify as women. In some traditional communities 'sistergirls' also includes 'gay men', but in urban communities it doesn't.
A notable Sistergirl community is the Yimpininni of the Tiwi Islands. On the Tiwi Islands, the Yimpininni consist of 4% of the total population, numbering roughly about 70 in all. They have their own traditional roles, customs and laws within the Tiwi society - and believe they are born, not made. When a child reaches the age of 6 and has exhibited a Yimpininni nature, the parents hand her over to the other Yimpininni to raise.