Tonga Letis Association (TLA) has elected Polikalepo Kefu as its new president during its annual general meeting in Nuku’alofa on Tuesday 15.

Kefu has replaced Henry ‘Aho while Agbe Love Tu’inukuafe was elected as vice president.

Meanwhile, a new documentary Leitis in Waiting was expected to be screened in Auckland, this weekend.

The film follows the life of transgender Tongan Joleen Mataele also known as Joyey, who, along with other leitis, provides invaluable help to the royal family of the Kingdom, even while the country itself is subject to a rising tide of religious fundamentalism, Radio New Zealand reported.

“Appearing in the documentary and travelling with it is Lord Fusitu’a, a noble, a member of the Tongan parliament, and a champion of the rights of LGBT people and women. Leitis in Waiting will play in Auckland this weekend as part of the 13th International Documentary Film Festival, known as Doc Edge”, it said.

Mataele told the Sydney Morning Herald, that a leiti is born male, but “acts like a lady, lives like a lady, talks like a lady and dresses like a lady.”

She says they are generally accepted in jobs as caregivers, hair dressers, chefs and decorators, but that no one talks openly about sex. And, “when it comes to decision making,” she said, “we’re nowhere to be seen.”

TLA was established in 1992 with a focus on improving the rights and celebrating the contribution of Leitis in Tonga.

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