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Some of Julie’s friends have embarked on surgery to become more feminine and to formally change genders.
Julie has not so far made this decision, but has not ruled it out.
For there it is his equally strapping 6ft brother Olotuli who catches the eye – dressed as a woman and known as Julie.
Julie, 34, has previously shied away from media attention.
There were lots of my fa’afafine friends who used to go to school together.
In a recent interview, Manu said of Julie: ‘It’s just the way he is.
‘Discrimination was worse when I was in England,’ she admits.
And she explains how she has steered clear of the sport which dominates her family – happy instead to stay at home and do the ironing for her elderly parents.‘Never in my life have I played rugby,’ she shudders. But in Samoa, she attracts barely a second glance because of the deep-rooted Polynesian culture of the fa’afafine, or third gender, which defies Western sexual conventions.
He was born like that and he wants to dress up as a woman. He is just different.’Growing up, Julie dedicated herself to helping her parents around the house, taking on the role of dutiful daughter.
But not just dress up, he lives the life of a woman – he has the eyelashes, eyebrows, has make-up done and wears a bra. It is a respected part of the fa’afafine tradition and Julie has accepted it gladly.‘I cook for them, I tidy, I iron their clothes.
He finally won indefinite leave to remain in July 2010 and in August 2011 made his England debut.
He was later selected for England’s World Cup squad for the tournament in New Zealand.
If I am thinking of getting married, then I’m getting married to a man. I want to stay alone at the moment.’But while Julie enjoys nightclubs, she also holds some deeply rooted religious beliefs.