Transgendered in Samoa: Acceptance of Tradition in the South Pacific – by Joseph Erbentraut – EDGE Contributor

As a sign of the cultural significance of the transgendered in their ancient society, in July, the prime minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele, met and spoke with the Samoa Fa’afafine Association, the South Pacific island nation’s leading advocacy organization for the transgendered, or fa’afafine, community. The leader’s words of support undoubtedly will come as a surprise to those of us more accustomed to elected officials wrangling their hands on issues concerning gender deviance.