Contrary to popular belief, transgender people are not new at all. The fact that the notorious "third gender" has long been a habitual reality among the ethnic groups of the Pacific region writes in his blog Eis_gen.
Traditions of people with a male body gender, but behaving like women, are found among some peoples of the islands of the South Pacific. For example, in the Samoan archipelago they are called fa'afafine, on the border with Samoa Tongo it is fakaleiti, in French Polynesia RaeRae, in Hawaii Mahu.
Canadian professor Paul Vassey has been visiting Samoa for many years to study faafafine, and found that society treats these people much more tolerantly than in the West, although faafafine themselves say that in childhood their parents tried to counteract their "non-male" behavior. Some of them look very feminine, and some do not at all, but they usually prefer men as a sexual partner, while they do not enter into sexual contact with each other. But Samoan men, although they prefer women, almost all had sexual contact with faafafine. For them, beauty contests and festivals are held on this archipelago.
The same phenomenon existed among the indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. Stepan Krasheninnikov, a researcher of Siberia and Kamchatka, spoke about this in his work "Description of the Land of Kamchatka", back in 1755. There he described the aborigines with a male body, called koekchuchi, whom he called "people of the converted gender", who "go about in women's dress, do all women's work". They were taken as wives like ordinary women, and they lived in yarangas with other wives.
Interestingly, the Cossacks, who were the first to come to this peninsula, mistook Koekchuchi for women, which allowed local men to mistake the Cossacks themselves for Koekchuchi. This misconception was also caused by the fact that the Cossacks, for example, sewed buttons themselves or repaired clothes - that is, they performed women's work in the opinion of Kamchadals. In addition, the Cossacks unknowingly entered the dwelling through the lower, female entrance, while the men - through the upper opening through which the smoke came out.
Read more about non-binary gender traditions in human history here.