Amao Leota – Transgender Differences


Gender and Sexuality are broad terms. Within Australia, it’s commonly accepted to pigeon hole individuals within the GLBTIQ categories. But how does this vary in other cultures around the world?
In Samoa there is a third gender. Fa’afafine is a third gender specific to Samoan culture. Fa’afafine are biological men who in childhood choose by their nature to be raised to assume female gender roles, something which is not discouraged in the traditional fa’asamoa (Samoan society).

In Western culture fa’afafine are considered “gay” or “homosexual”. Homosexuality itself is closer to the term tauatane in Samoan, where two tane (men) are engaged in sexual relationship, as opposed to a fa’afafine relationship which is between a tane (man) and fa’afafine (MTF or male-to-female transgender woman).