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Gender on the EdgeTransgender, Gay, and Other Pacific Islanders$
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Niko Besnier and Kalissa Alexeyeff

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838829

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838829.001.0001

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Two Sea Turtles

Two Sea Turtles

Intimacy between Men in the Marshall Islands

(p.184) Chapter 9 Two Sea Turtles
Gender on the Edge

Greg Dvorak

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines some of the unique dimensions of friendship and intimacy between men in the Marshall Islands. Drawing primarily on the views and personal experiences of a group of three Marshallese men, including one in his sixties named “Robert,” it considers friendships and romantic relations with kakōļ, a social category or identity in the Marshalls that often gets confused with the English word “gay.” It also discusses intimacy between men in the Marshall Islands within the framework of close friendship and social bonding, with particular emphasis on jerā (intimate friendships between two men or two women) and jerāship and their meanings.

Keywords:   friendship, intimacy, men, Marshall Islands, romantic relations, kakōļ, gay, social bonding, jerā, jerāship

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