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.

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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