Story: Gender diversity

Carmen and Georgina Beyer (2nd of 2)

Carmen and Georgina Beyer

Two of New Zealand's best-known transsexuals, Carmen (left) and Georgina Beyer, pose at Parliament in 2006. Carmen was born Trevor Rupe, a farmer's son from Taumarunui. In Sydney's Kings Cross in the 1950s she became the first Māori drag-queen performer in Australia. In 1968 Carmen opened her own coffee bar in Wellington. She ran for mayor there in 1977, and later returned to Sydney.

Georgina Beyer became the world's first openly transsexual mayor in 1995, when she was elected mayor of Carterton in the Wairarapa. In 1999 she won the Wairarapa seat for Labour, becoming the world's first openly transsexual MP. She has since been a keynote speaker at international conferences on transgender human rights.

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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 101006NZHMMCARMEN1.JPG
Photograph by Mark Mitchell

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How to cite this page:

Johanna Schmidt, 'Gender diversity - Transsexuals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 August 2017)

Story by Johanna Schmidt, published 5 May 2011, updated 20 Jul 2015