Marilyn and her secret sister at the Fakaleiti Ball

Fabulous location at Ita’s bar… a private bar on a large property… not sure of the hows and whys of it being held there.

6 September  Falaite
Phew we only just made it home for the Fakaleiti ball tonight… despite flight delays.

Wow what a night. Location at a lagoon side private bar was very spiffy. There were lots of fancy dresses and welcoming smiles… a unique and special evening.

Kotoni with Princess Stephan(ie). We volunteers really got into the dress-up spirit with gusto!
Kotoni with Princess Stephan(ie). We volunteers really got into the dress-up spirit with gusto!

I must say  Kotoni did look pretty stunning ??!! in his Marilyn Monroe black satin ball gown complete with blonde wig and beauty spot. Home by midnight before we turned into pumpkins although the Fakaleitis wanted us to rock on we were not sure it would end up being our late night scene and Kotoni did feel a tad vulnerable in a frock even if he wasn’t showing as much leg as most of them… and my my what great legs they all had!

At the end of the night we gave a couple a lift into town. (One – Mark was a hairdresser… of course!!) he/she commented that when first arriving and spotting Kotoni in the crowd…”I thought to myself… My my that is the hairiest woman I have ever seen… Oh no it is a man!!!” We are still not sure if that is a compliment or not!!!

Kina and me
Kina and me
Loni (Rhianna!!) Kina and Marilyn (Kotoni)
Loni (Rhianna!!) Kina and Marilyn (Kotoni)

The Ball dancing was superb and Fatima looked amazing in her kilt and 6 inch white boots.

Fatima wears a kilt so well.
Fatima wears a kilt so well.

So what exactly is a leiti?
A new Tongan newspaper came out this week and one of the interesting articles was on leitis so thought I would share this with you as it is a concept that can be a tad complex for palangis (whities) not living in Tonga to get their head around.
“They face a lot of discrimination because of who they are… There are men who are attracted to the same sex and men who feel they are more like women than men in all Pacific countries.
In the west these men would be regarded as homosexual or as transgender. However these terms do not align neatly with these Pacific categories of gender and sexuality which are both more diverse and culturally unique.
There are a wide range of identities that are often particular to local Pacific cultures.
Local communities and organisation refer to themselves and others like them with unique, local, cultural terminology such as ‘fa’afaine’ in Samoa, ‘akava’ine’ in the Cook Islands and ‘fakaleiti’ in Tonga. The general term ‘leiti’ is the modern derivation of the English word ‘lady’ but is used more inclusively to include transgender, gay and bisexual men.
The Tongan Leiti Association is actively involved in health issues and the community to address violence and discrimination… They even hold bible study classes every week. The Princess’s daughter is the organisation’s patron.  It is 21 years old and will be holding a fundraising ball on 6 September which we are attending.
The colourful leitis at ‘Ahopanilolo are very talented young people and help to create a colourful and fun atmosphere which we have grown to love. Their contribution to the cultural life of the school is embraced and supported which is so refreshingly positive and builds a sense of acceptance of difference and promotes social inclusion across the campus.

7 thoughts on “Marilyn and her secret sister at the Fakaleiti Ball

  1. A quiet Sat night for me after weeks of focus on yr12 & final lessons in the lead up to their HSC..lovely class, gave me beautiful card & arty glass vase, I was nice to catch up on your blog..I’ve missed so much! all the photos..swimming with whales, wow! Chatted to Timm today, shared with me how much you & Gord are loving the lifestyle. Hi to Lesley..lovely photo of your shoes! Sad news of Mr Chittick..I remember him speaking at your wedding & your Dad’s service..lovely man. You are looking well & happy, hoping you have your passport & papers re-issued after the robbery. Love the dress-ups, you do love a frock don’t you Gord! Reminds me of many Easters! Not long till Tracey & Sal arrive..& a happy wedding anniv to you both for the 21st! xx


  2. Here goes! Have been trying FOREVER to add a comment! You 2 sound really happy & obviously are having fun! Maybe too much Gords?!!! Love to you both from Wally & me


  3. lovely Kotoni, lovely.


  4. I’m impressed by such tolerance in what I’d have imagined to be somewhat ‘warrior’ nations. Of course your reference to “The Tongan Leiti Association is actively involved in health issues and the community to address violence and discrimination” does instruct that there is or was a problem of discrimination. I’m finding it hard to imagine how you are fitting in all the activities. Wow, what a schedule! Love, as always.


  5. Looks like a fab night of fun. What a collection. Great that Gordon really managed to get into the swing of things while keeping his virtue intact… and being home before midnight. I must say he has cut a striking figure in his outfit and ooohh those muscles. Very powerful arms !!!!
    Sonia I love your red glamour gown as well. Did Steve Go ??


  6. hairy or not!!one cool dame!!


    1. Only a Mum (in law) could say that!!!


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