Gender Gems

Photo of leader Tiare Feterika Chanel




Tiare is a beloved and proud member of the fa’afafine and transgender community.

Tiare is a Pasifika Wellness Manager for Pacific Islander Community Association and a board member for United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (WA) and loved by many for her hilarious, vibrant and loving spirit.

Agaiotupu Viena and Aleksa Manila nominated Tiare to participate in Gender Gems.


Gender Gems, led by Gay City volunteer Shann Thomas, is a large-scale photography and visual design project that seeks to honor Two-Spirit, trans, fa’afafine, non-binary and femme elders in the Puget Sound region. The intention behind Gender Gems is to visibilize elders and leaders in the gender-diverse community who have been making changes in their communities for decades.


This project came to be after I completed the Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Boot Camp (founded by Elisheba Johnson and Marcia Iwasaki).

There was an art call for Boot Camp graduates with the theme Treasure Hunt. Meanwhile, the January 2018 edition of Seattle Met magazine published and featured the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle, which got my brain jogging on what it would be like to have a parallel platform for gender diverse people in the region (the Seattle Met feature included one out trans leader, Danni Askini).

Hence, Gender Gems was born!

The project began at the Vera Project in the Fall of 2018, and continues there today with the most recent install, Storme Webber; alongside Tiare Feterika Chanel’s install at Gay City.


Current Features

Storme Webber: Interdisciplinary Artist/Writer/Educator/Curator
View at Vera Project, Seattle Center


Previous Features

Aleksa Manila: Social Worker by Day, Socialite Activist by Night!

Vanessa Grandberry: Community Health Advocate, Focus on Black LGBTQ Communities

Marsha Botzer: Founder of Ingersoll Gender Center