THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — In Polynesian culture, soccer player Jonny Saelua is part of the fa’afafine — to be a woman — biological males who identify as a third sex. Saelua appears to be the first trans person to play at the World Cup stage.
Samoa Fa’afafine Society’s Alex Su’a, says about 1,500 fa’afafine live in Samoa and American Samoa.
Su’a: “To be fa’afafine you have to be Samoan, born a man, feel you are a woman, be sexually attracted to males and, importantly, proud to be called and labeled fa’afafine. The fa’afafine are culturally accepted. They have a role in Samoan society. They are the caretakers of the elders because their brothers and sisters get married, but the fa’afafine traditionally don’t.”
This appears to be similar to Native American’s “Two Spirits” — these trans tribe members are respected rather than looked down upon.
More soccer info via New York Times: Transgender Player Helps American Samoa to First International Soccer Win – NYTimes.com.
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Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
Thank you, Lexie-
This story is important, not only for the success and visibility of Jonny Saelua, but the subtext about “Third Gender”. Samoans and Native American accept, even treasure their Transgender people. The Binary is a social construct and NOT biologically determined. The sooner that is known and accepted, the sooner WE will be accepted in Western European Society!
Thank you Liz for the comments! 🙂