Posted on June 21, 2010
Samoa’s Third Gender the Fa’fafinie
While I ‘m finishing my Samoa piece I went over the notes I took about the Fa’afafine, known in other places as the third gender. In general they are biologically males who in their childhood decided to take up female gender roles. In their roles the Fa’afafine are known for their hard work and family dedication, often childcare and elderly watching is given to them. Originally it was thought that a family with too many sons chose one to dress as a female and then they would take on that role that is not the case.
They also don’t consider being a Fa’fafinie the same as being a homosexual or a drag queen. A Fa”fafinie won’t have sex with another Fa’fafinie, only straight men. They are physically men, but they are accepted as women because they look and act like women so when they have sex with men, it’s not considered homosexual. Usually a young Samoan man’s first sexual experience is with a Fa’fafinie.