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.Continue reading...