Tonga Leiti

Tonga, a Polynesian island kingdom arrayed across thousands of miles of the South Pacific, is one of the most deeply Christian and socially conservative nations in the world. It is also home to the Miss Galaxy Pageant, a joyful annual celebration of the creativity and talent of “leitis,” a visible community of transgender Tongan women who do not conform to traditional notions of gender. Tonga Leiti tells the story of Tonga's paradoxical embrace of gender fluidity through a character driven, cinéma vérité style portrait of the most prominent leiti in the Kingdom, Joey Joleen Mataele.



Total CPB Investment: 


Made Possible by CPB's Investment: 

Dean Hamer
Haleiwa, HI
TVPRG - PIC subgrant


History & Biography