Thought I'd share...Different cultures/religions across the world through different times...
Hermaphroditus was an incredibly attractive man who was raised by nymphs. The myth tells that one day he totally undressed and jumped into a lake. There lived Salmacis, a nymph who had fallen in love with him, but who suffered after being blatantly friendzoned. When she saw him, she embraced him tightly and prayed to the gods that they become one eternally. From then on, every man who bathed in that lake became effeminate. Alternative stories say that he was Â“born that way.Â” As we might tell, this where the term Â“hermaphroditeÂ” comes from, referring to organisms with both female and male reproductive organs.
Yet another mind-blowing story originated because Zeus couldnÂ’t keep it in his pants! As a result of him raping Great Mother (Gaia) while she slept on the rock Agdo, a creature was born with both female and male genitals. (S)he was named Agdistis. The gods were scared of this superhuman of double gender, and plotted to make Agdistis auto-castrate. Dionysus secretly tied AgdistisÂ’ feet to his/her penis during sleep, so it would be pulled at the moment (s)he got up. Her blood fertilized the earth, and the penis became an almond tree. Sometime later, the daughter of the god Sangarius would get pregnant at the moment she put some almonds from that tree on her lap; and Agdistis would fall in love with her own son, Attis.
Hapi was the god of the Nile River. Although male, Hapi was related to fertility and to the ability to provide food to Egypt. He was considered responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile, which kept the lands from becoming a desert and made farming possible. Since fertility and nourishing were typical female traits, he presents physical features of both sexes: big breasts, a fake beard, a large belly, and aquatic plants on his head (!). Interestingly, there were two Hapi: one in upper Egypt and one in lower Egypt, and both of them had a wifeÂ… We can bet they were happy!
Literally named Â“the Lord who is half woman.Â” Ardhanarishvara is a god composed of half Shiva (god of destruction and regeneration) and the god Parvati (a form of Shakti, wife of Shiva). Other of ArdhanarishvaraÂ’s names mean Â“man-woman,Â” Â“mother-father,Â” and Â“the Lord whose half is the fair one.Â” It symbolizes the inseparability of female and male energies in the universe, the integrity of marital union, and the power of fertility of nature. Though there are several episodes in the Puranas about the origin of this form of Shiva, one stands out. In one instance, Lord Brahma created the universe and male humans, but needed to make human copulation possible. Soon Ardhanarishvara manifested, and Lord Brahma deemed Â“half and halfÂ” perfect.
One of the Eight Immortals in Daoism, Lan Caihe was a human of unknown sex and unknown age. According to the legend, (s)he was an eccentric beggar and drunkard who gained immortality by an act of charity. (S)he is the patron saint of the poor, and is usually depicted wearing only one shoe, holding a flute, or carrying a basket of flowers, fruits or bamboo. Lan is portrayed either as a man, a woman, or an effeminate man. In Chinese theater, (s)he wears female clothes, but sounds like a male.