Trans History for LGBT History Month - Georgina Beyer (1957 - Present)

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Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly trans mayor and member of Parliament, was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1957. She is of Maori descent. 

At the age of 16, Beyer left school to pursue acting, against her mother’s will. In her 20’s, she began working on the Wellington gay scene as a singer and drag performer, and then briefly as a sex worker.  

She had genital surgery in 1984, and soon after began a successful career as an actress in film and television. She was often typecast as a drag queen or streetwalker. She was nominated for best actress in the New Zealand Guild of Film and Television in 1987.  

Her career in politics began after she became a councillor for Carterton in 1993. She ran for mayor of Carterton in 1995 and won, becoming the first openly trans mayor.  Then, in 1999, Georgina was chosen as the Labour Party’s candidate and, against the odds, became the world’s first openly trans MP. During her time as an MP, she introduced a bill to Parliament to include ‘gender identity’ in the Human Rights Act. 

Beyer stepped down from Parliament in 2007. 

She published her autobiography, “Change for the Better: the Story of Georgina Beyer” in 1999. A documentary film about her, “Georgie Girl”, was released in 2002 and won international awards.

Source: Wikipedia / It’s a Queer World

Check out more trans history on Gendered Intelligence’s ‘Trans History’ tag.

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