Fakafifine Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fakafifine

ClassificationGender identity
Other terms
Associated termsFakaleiti, Two-spirit, Trans woman, Akava'ine, Māhū, Pinapinaaine
Regions with significant populations

Fakafifine are people from Niue, who were born assigned male at birth but who have a feminine gender expression. In Niue this is understood as a third gender, culturally specific to the country.[1][2]


The term comes from Niuean and is composed of the prefix faka- (in the manner of) and the suffix -fifine (woman) and is defined in Niue Language Dictionary as 'to behave like a woman' or 'to be effeminate'.[3] A related term is fakataane which means 'to behave like a man'.[4]

Fakafifine is included in the acronym MVPFAFF (mahu, vakasalewalewa, palopa, fa'afafine, akava'ine, fakaleiti or leiti, and fakafifine), coined by Phylesha Brown-Acton, to "enhance Pasifika gender diversity awareness in addition to the term LGBTQI".[5]

Notable fakafifine[edit]


  1. ^ Ravulo, Jioji; Mafile'o, Tracie; Yeates, Donald Bruce (2019-04-26). Pacific Social Work: Navigating Practice, Policy and Research. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-38624-1.
  2. ^ "Transgender New Zealanders". Ministry of Health NZ. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  3. ^ Niue; Linguistics, University of Hawaii at Manoa Dept of (1997-01-01). Niue Language Dictionary. University of Hawaii Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-8248-1933-0.
  4. ^ Hooper, Robin (1998). "Review of Tohi Vagahau Niue/Niue Language Dictionary: Niuean-English, with English-Niuean Finderlist". Oceanic Linguistics. 37 (1): 193–200. doi:10.2307/3623286. hdl:2027/mdp.39015041305700. ISSN 0029-8115. JSTOR 3623286.
  5. ^ "From Fa'afafine to Fakaleitī: Understanding Pacific gender diversity". www.abc.net.au. 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  6. ^ Brown-Acton, Phylesha; Peteru, Maiava Carmel (2014). Strengthening Solutions for Pasefika Rainbow (PDF). Le Va Pasifika.