Joey Joleen Mataele


Photo Credit: Joe Wilson


I am Leiti, a contemporary Tongan term for transgender.

Traditionally, Tongan culture is very loving, and I am accepted as I am. But new religions have made it difficult for our government to include us fully and to meet our needs.

I am a mother to three beautiful adopted children and strive to show the world that we can be great parents.

I am also an advocate working to ensure that Pacific nations accept their transgender citizens for who we are and the contributions we make to society.