Fa’afafine calls for end to stereotypes

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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SAY NO TO LABELS: Iulio Saufoi.

SAY NO TO LABELS: Iulio Saufoi.

Stereotyping is one of the reasons we have problems today.

So says Iulio Saufoi, a transgender who pointed out that stereotyping is an issue that could lead to serious situations.

“So many people look down on us because we were born different. The way society sees us and labels us,” he said.

Talking to the Village Voice team yesterday, Iulio said there were times when a male would beat a fa’afafine and this often ends tragically.

“There are times when a male comes across people like me and they beat him up or do whatever they please with him and most of the time it leads to death,” he said.

The 21-year-old said it had reached a point where he wouldn’t walk alone on the road in the middle of the night because he feared what could happen to him.

According to Iulio, stereotyping is not good in the sense that it pressures you to become something you are not.

He argues that this is why we have issues in families especially when parents expect so much from their children.

He believes it is true that he was born a male but everybody is different and have their own different personalities.

“It is correct that I was created to be a boy but everyone is different too, they have their own kind of behaviour which makes them different from the other.”

He added nobody was perfect and everyone had their own weaknesses.

Iulio is from Siusega and he works at the Taufusi Allen Store.

All the members of his family are working but the money they make is not enough to cater for their family’s survival.  

“We have so many obligations such as church fundraising, family commitments and many others, so the money we make is not enough because of the expensive cost of living.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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