Sex worker, survivor, Māori TV star: world’s first transgender MP remembered as trailblazer

Georgina Beyer was a formidable force for New Zealand’s rainbow community, pushing reforms on sex work and civil unions

Believed to be the world’s first transgender person to become a member of parliament, Georgina Beyer is remembered in New Zealand for her courage, sharp, ribald humour and fierce advocacy of the communities she represented.

The trailblazing MP – a former sex worker, sexual assault survivor, Māori woman and television star – entered parliament in 2005. She won the Wairarapa seat – once considered a rural, conservative stronghold – with a resounding victory and a 32% swing to Labour. Having served her community as mayor for five years, Beyer won over constituents with a straight-talking, upfront style and a constant presence at community events. In parliament, she became a force on behalf of the rainbow community, helping push forward progressive law reform on sex work and civil unions, often despite fierce opposition.

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World’s first openly transgender MP, Georgina Beyer, dies in New Zealand aged 65

The former actor, drag performer, sex worker and radio host pulled off a surprise victory as a Labour MP and later played a pivotal role in decriminalising prostitution

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark has led tributes to Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly transgender MP, who has died.

Friends announced “with the heaviest of hearts” on Facebook on Monday that the 65-year-old had died at a Wellington hospice.

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Joyland review – subtle trans drama from Pakistan is remarkable debut

Saim Sadiq’s film explores the unsettled social and sexual identities of a widower and his children with delicacy and tenderness

The right way to feel love, and the right way to feel part of a family, are the insoluble difficulties at the heart of this mysterious, sad and tender movie from Pakistan, a drama brimming with life and novelistic detail, directed by the first-time film-maker Saim Sadiq. He has been rewarded with the Un Certain Regard jury prize at Cannes, an official entry-shortlisting for the Academy Awards (though not a final nomination), and derision and censorship from Pakistan’s sterner political classes for his film’s supposed sexual immorality.

It is the story of an extended family in Lahore. Rana Amanullah, or “Abba” (Salmaan Peerzada), is an elderly widower in a wheelchair who presides over a large clan in a cramped apartment, near an amusement park called Joyland. One son, Saleem (Sohail Sameer) is married to Nucchi (Sarwat Gilani), they now have four lively young daughters but yearn to give Abba a grandson.

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‘To gain respect, you need success’: the trans tycoon from Thailand who bought up Miss Universe

Anne Jakrajutatip, boss of JKN Global, recently made headlines by buying the firm behind the contest for $20m

Anne Jakrajutatip, 43, has a story unlike many of the world’s media moguls. Growing up in Bangkok, the child of shop owners, she felt that she was trapped in the wrong body. At school, she faced constant bullying and stigma. She tried to carefully manage her identity, showing what she believed to be her true self in front of friends, and acting as a good son in front of her parents. She experienced sexual harassment while still a child.

It was reading a local newspaper article about Oprah Winfrey, a survivor of child abuse, that led Jakrajutatip to want a career in the media and to become a TV chatshow host. A microphone seemed like a powerful weapon.

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‘We deserve to be treated equally’: Pakistan’s trans community steps out of the shadows

Ridiculed and persecuted for years, members of Khwaja Sira have staged their first march in support of trans rights

Ostracised and stigmatised for decades, Pakistan’s transgender community came together this weekend to take part in the country’s first march in support of their rights, held in in the city of Karachi.

Often ridiculed and even murdered for dancing at functions – one of the few occupations open to the community, known as Khwaja Sira, people were instead able to take to the stage in celebration on this occasion, dancing, chanting and singing.

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Film depicting transgender love affair to be screened in Pakistan

Cannes Jury prize-winning Joyland had previously been banned following objections by Islamist hardliners

A Pakistani film portraying romance between a married man and a transgender woman was cleared for domestic screenings on Wednesday, officials said, reversing a government ban forced by Islamist pressure.

Lauded by critics, awarded the jury prize at Cannes and nominated as Pakistan’s entry for next year’s Academy Awards, Joyland was set to open in cinemas across the country this Friday.

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Joyland: Pakistan bans Oscar contender film about trans love affair

Islamic groups denounce film that won prestigious jury prize at Cannes and has Malala Yousafzai as executive director

The Pakistan government has banned the film that will be its Oscars contender after pressure from hardline Islamic groups who called its depiction of a love affair between a man and a trans woman “repugnant” and “highly objectionable”.

Joyland, directed by Saim Sadiq, had been submitted as Pakistan’s official entry for best international feature film at the Oscars and was due for domestic release this week.

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Thai transgender tycoon buys Miss Universe Organization for $20m

Jakapong ‘Anne’ Jakrajutatip has spoken about her experience as a transgender woman and advocated for trans rights

A Thai celebrity media tycoon who is transgender woman has bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20m, marking the first time the beauty pageant organiser will be owned by a woman, her company has said.

The annual beauty contest run by the Miss Universe Organization, which was co-owned by Donald Trump between 1996 and 2002, is broadcast in 165 countries and has been running for 71 years.

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Japanese trans woman denied status as parent of own child – reports

Tokyo high court rules that child born after woman’s legal gender change should not be recognised as her daughter

A Japanese court has ruled that a child born after a transgender woman went through her surgical and legal transition should not be recognised legally as her child, according to local media.

Japan requires that anyone who wants to legally change their gender have surgery to remove the sexual organs they were born with, a practice sharply criticised by human rights groups.

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‘Like a bridge that connects us’: Pride parade comes to Bangkok amid new hope for LGBT rights

Event returns for first time in many years on Sunday as city appoints governor vocal in supporting LGBT community

Kath Khangpiboon has seen many joyful Pride parades abroad. She has watched in Spain and Canada as young people and families joined celebrations under the rainbow flag. Now, she is looking forward to seeing Pride in her city: Bangkok.

“I feel so much pride that an activity like this is happening,” says Kath, who is a lecturer at Thammasat University and a trans activist. Bangkok Naruemit Pride on 5 June – believed to be the first official Pride parade in the Silom area of Thailand’s capital for more than 15 years – comes as the city appoints its new governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, an independent politician who has been vocal in his support for LGBT rights.

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‘A turning point’: Indian art fair challenges gender and sexual stereotypes

Participants including Aravani trans art collective are shifting perceptions in male-dominated society

Even through the haze of shimmering heat and thick Delhi dust, the mural is impossible to miss. Pinks, blues, greens and yellows pop off the wall, coming together to form a utopian scene of equality, and splashed across the middle is emblazoned a slogan designed to challenge India’s male-dominated society. “The future is femme,” it declares.

The artwork stands at the entrance of this year’s India art fair, the country’s largest event showcasing Indian artists and galleries, which opens in Delhi this weekend after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

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Pakistan’s transgender women protest against rising tide of violence

Rally and vigil held in Islamabad to highlight discrimination and attacks on community, including murders of five trans women in March

Mano had gone to meet her boyfriend at a printing press in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani bazaar to get back some money he had borrowed.

“But he refused to pay,” her friend Farzana Riaz said. “Mano insisted and refused to leave without money. When Mano kept resisting, her boyfriend Sanaullah shot her.”

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Lives of LGBTQ+ Afghans ‘dramatically worse’ under Taliban rule, finds survey

Human Rights Watch reports cases of mob attacks, gang-rape and death threats, with LGBTQ+ people living in fear and unable to flee

The lives of LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan have “dramatically worsened” under Taliban rule, according to a new survey, which highlights cases of violence, gang-rape and death threats since the group seized power last year.

The report, by Human Rights Watch (HRW), recorded nearly 60 cases of targeted violence against LGBTQ+ people since August 2021, many of whom described how Taliban rule has destroyed their lives.

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‘It’s so liberating’: India’s first salon run by transgender men

Founder Aryan Pasha wants La Beauté & Style to be an inclusive and comfortable space, as well as tackle prejudice and provide employment

The beauty treatments listed at the new La Beauté & Style salon are much the same as those offered by the dozen or so other parlours that dot the traffic-heavy Dilshad Extension area of Ghaziabad, 17 miles (28km) east of Delhi. But that is where the similarity ends.

The wall behind the reception desk is painted in rainbow colours; a mural of a trans man with flowing multicoloured locks decorates another wall; a woman wearing a sari is having her eyebrows plucked next to a trans man who is telling a stylist how he would like his hair cut.

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New Zealand passes law making it easier to change sex on birth certificates

Advocates welcome bill allowing for self-identification they say upholds rights for transgender and non-binary New Zealanders

New Zealand’s rainbow community will be allowed to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without providing evidence of a medical procedure, after a bill to recognise the right for gender minorities to self-identify passed into law.

“Today is a proud day in Aotearoa’s history,” internal affairs minister Jan Tinetti said. “Parliament has voted in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination.”

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