Fakaleiti

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A fakaleiti (or leiti or fakafefine or lady) is a Tongan male assigned at birth individual who behaves in a relatively effeminate manner.

Although fakaleiti in Tonga do not necessarily associate with transgender or gay and lesbian identities in the Western world, those who grow up in Tongan migrant communities in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States may find a greater level of community and affinity to similar identities than fakaleiti in the island kingdom.

The term fakaleiti (with a long i at the end) is made up of the prefix faka- (in the manner of) and the borrowing lady from English. Fakaleitis themselves prefer to call themselves leiti or ladies. Fakaleiti or fakafefine are similar to Samoan fa'afafine and Hawaiian mahu.

See also

References

  • Besnier, Niko (1994). "Polynesian Gender Liminality Through Time and Space". In Herdt, Gilbert. Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. New York: Zone. pp. 285–328. ISBN 978-0-942299-82-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  • James, Kerry E. (1994). "Effeminate Males and Changes in the Construction of Gender in Tonga". Pacific Studies. 17 (2): 39–69.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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