Four hundred years ago in Japan, male youths, called wakashu, were the objects of sexual desire for women and men. Creating a third gender, wakashu looked different from both women and adult men and played distinct social and sexual roles.
The exhibition, A Third Gender, explores the complex system of sexual desire and social expectation from 1603 to 1868 in Edo Japan. Featuring woodblock prints, paintings, illustrated books, kimono, and armour, it tells a pivotal story in the history of human sexuality. Unsettling contemporary North American values, A Third Gender invites you to think differently about gender and sexuality.