Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

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Kumu Hula Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu at the 2016 Kamehameha Day Lei Draping

Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu,[1] also known as Kumu Hina, is a native Hawaiian māhū - a Hawaiian term referring to individuals who embody both male and female spirit[2][3][4] - as well as a modern transgender woman.[5] She is known for her work as a kumu hula (Hawaiian for "hula teacher"), cultural practitioner, and community leader.[6] She has been described as a "powerful performer with a clear, strong voice".[7]

Hinaleimoana was born in the Nuuanu district of Oʻahu.[8] She attended Kamehameha School (1990) and the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa (1996–2004) where she began her activism.[9] She was a founder of the Kulia Na Mamo transgender health project, cultural director of a Hawaiian public charter school, and candidate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, one of the first transgender candidates for statewide political office in the United States. She also served as the Chair of the O'ahu Island Burial Council, which oversees the management of Native Hawaiian burial sites and ancestral remains.

Wong-Kalu was the subject of the feature documentary film Kumu Hina, directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson.[10][11] Kumu Hina premiered as the closing night film in the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2014 and won several awards including best documentary at the Frameline Film Festival and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. It was nationally broadcast on PBS in 2015 where it won the Independent Lens Audience Award.[12] An educational children's version of the film, A Place in the Middle premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival for Kids and is featured on PBS learning media.[13]


  1. ^ Blair, Chad (February 2015). "Kumu in the Middle". Hana Hou: The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu - TedxMaui". 
  3. ^ "Intersections: Transgender, Queens, Mahu, Whatever': An Oral History from Hawai'i". 
  4. ^ "Kumu Hina". Kumuhina.tumblr.com. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  5. ^ "The Beautiful Way Hawaiian Culture Embraces A Particular Kind Of Transgender Identity". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  6. ^ "About | kumahina". 
  7. ^ "Kuma Hina :: EDGE Boston". 
  8. ^ "Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu - TEDXMaui". 
  9. ^ "ABOUT | Vote Hina Wong-Kalu for OHA". 
  10. ^ "Hawaii Documentary 'Kumu Hina' Profiles Native Hawaiian Mahu Teacher". 
  11. ^ "Home". Kumu Hina. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  12. ^ "Independent Lens". PBS. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  13. ^ "A Place in the Middle". A Place in the Middle. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 

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