I live in Manukau City, South of Auckland; New Zealand. We have the densest pacific island population of any country in the world. The given is that meeting other like minded queers like yourself is easy, since geographically we’re all in the same city. You would think it were that simple. The Polynesian Princes of south Auckland are as closeted as the gays in the NRL. They have refined their visibility to a passing fragrance of I WANNA FUCK YOU BUT I”M WITH HER. The problem with this metaphor is that it reeks of homos in south Auckland but these men have succeeded in making themselves invisible.

So therein lays the problem of trying to engage and understand a type of man that exists only in theory. I imagine this type of man as wanting to express his sexual fluidity and attraction to the same sex however being stunted by his contradicting physicality, one of which is typically hetronormative and in gender specific terms what is appropriate for him to conform to i.e. “I am built in the manner of a man that is only biologically compatible with a significant other of the opposite sex”. This belief system is made a mantra that affirms a masculine stereotype and a gender ideal that is perpetuated, driven and motivated both sociologically and politically by a western heterosexual statuesque and moral majority.

The art works posted on this blog are inspired by this idea. This is JERRY THE FA’AFAFINE he is pleased to have finally found you and met you...


Jerry the Fa'afafine

Artist Statement

Tanu Gago

This work is concerned with the construction of masculine identities among young urban Pacific gay males, exploring notions of visibility, character play, performance, sexuality and gender stereotype.

I’m interested in what happens to the gay Samoan males excluded from the cultural understanding and security of being identified as a Fa'afafine. Are they to remain invisible and continue to manage alternative lives and identities?

The reality is yes. The reality is JERRY THE FA'AFAFINE; a type of urban Pacific gay male, conditioned both culturally and socio-politically to the gender default of western heterosexual norms. While he accepts and conforms to this state of being it contradicts with his desires. From out of which emerges a new identity, a character that is often hyper masculine and overtly sexual, liberating him from his reality and thrusting him into a world of fantasy, fun, and even if only momentary... freedom.

JERRY the Fa'afafine & BOY

1 comment:

  1. Excellent graphics and a narrative that, unfortunately, is applicable to way too many gay men everywhere! Until we are all free, none of us are truly free. Great blog, my friend!