a re-re and a gazeLLe in mOOrea

re-re Eva and Gazelle


photo by Mark Anthony


          I was so surprised, perhaps wonderfully fascinated by the phenomenon ” re-re ” This term is the most used to describe transvestites in Tahiti. The real definition is that a ” re-re ” is a boy raised as a female to fill a woman’s role in the household, if there are no girls in the family. After researching a little about them I came across this statement. The most common theory was that a family that did not have any girls would raise one of the boys as a girl. Over the years reports have noted that it was the first boy, or the second boy, or the last boy, or the forth boy. If you ask a re-re that was raised this way, meaning it was not necessarily by choice to be raised as a girl, they will probably tell you that there was no rule as to which child it was in terms of order. 
          Today, the Tahitians no longer choose to raise them as a girl, they choose their own path. These beautiful people are very respected in Tahiti. They can support themselves by holding regular jobs like everybody else. I saw a ” re-re ” working as crew member on my way to Tahiti, and another one working in a grocery store. Just incredible how they are a part of the society in such way that it is not really an issue…at least it seemed to me.

Freak Chic

by Gazelle Paulo

1 thought on “a re-re and a gazeLLe in mOOrea”

  1. When I was in Tahiti years ago I met a rae rae that worked at the Meriden pool bar. I had never heard of that term rae rae till I was there. It was so amazing to see how they intergrate into society.


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