Transgender Player Helps American Samoa to First International Win

Jonny Saelua did not always envision herself as an international soccer player. What she really wanted to do was join a dance company and “travel the world just performing.”

“Anything modern, jazz, maybe a little bit of ballet,” said Saelua, a center back for American Samoa’s men’s team and a performing arts major at the University of Hawaii. But for now, Saelua is doing her dancing in cleats. On Tuesday, the 23-year-old Saelua played a key role in American Samoa’s 2-1 victory against Tonga in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

It was American Samoa’s first victory in international soccer, ending a 30-game losing streak in which it had been outscored by 229-12. And Saelua apparently became the first transgender player to compete on a World Cup stage.

Saelua is part of the fa’afafine, biological males who identify themselves as a third sex in Polynesian culture. Fa’afafine means “to be a woman” in Samoan. According to 30-year-old Alex Su’a, who heads the Samoa Fa’afafine Society, there are 1,500 fa’afafine in Samoa and American Samoa.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/sports/soccer/jonny-saelua-transgender-player-helps-american-samoa-to-first-international-soccer-win.html

by The Punjapit Alliance

Posted in 1, Far East Asia, Football, sex, They Said, WTF. Comments Off on Transgender Player Helps American Samoa to First International Win
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