Last Wednesday Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong, now legally recognized as a woman, celebrated her 47th birthday.

When she entered this world, his name was Collin, but now without a doubt she exists, successfully transitioned from Mister to Miss.

"I'm supposed to be transgender. What does that mean to the people, it's to them what they think," Wong said.

Hina had trouble fitting in, but in her mind she was born to change, always called he, but always wanted to be called she.

"The kids in school were awful. It was not a joy for me, I hated it," Wong recalled.

The Wong way was surviving echos of humiliation and sometimes hate, but never with misguided fate.

"There was a whole lot of discrimination and prejudice," Wong said. "I heard people talk, but I don't let it bother me, any and everybody who has something negative to say about me, I send my aloha."

"I say go for it," Henry Wong, Hina's father said. 

Over tea for three and dim sum for breakfast, it's easy to see she's empowered by the few words of a father.

"I back um up that's the main thing," Henry said.

Hina says his words have remained incredibly profound in her life.

Hina's mother had a stroke four years ago and Hina is her caregiver.

"I always looked at my mother and said she's so beautiful, and I wanted to look just like her," Wong said. 

Hina's brother is renowned chef Alan Wong. 

"I always joke with people and say my brother's famous, I'm infamous," Wong said. 

Hina keeps corporate correct as well as an advisor for the Victoria Ward, but most of her works are in the community.

"No Ku'u La Hui E Ha'awe Pau A'i O La Mau, for my nation and my people I will give my all," Wong said.
    
Multiple times per week she teaches language and culture in prison. "E Ala E Ka Hiki Ku -- E Ala E ka Hiki Moe -- E Ala Ho'i Au -- E Hiki Ai Moe."    

To let her hair down she keeps breaking barriers by sharing kava with the Free Church of Tonga, a mostly boys club describing it as a place where she can "just chill and relax."

She took a stand as a man to be a lady with a voice for choice, believing humanity is blessed with the gift of different cultures and ideas.

"As long as I have the breath of life, I will continue to give," Wong said. 

Hina is a part of two critically acclaimed projects: Ke Kulana Mahu and Kumu Hina, much of it an in-depth look at her failed marriage to a man.

"If there's one person, just one, that it would mean the world to, that they would find some value, then it was worth it for me to share my story," Wong said.  

Times change, minds change instead of a judging a book by its cover try opening the book and turn a few pages.