Story: Gender diversity

Carmen Rupe and Georgina Beyer (2nd of 2)

Carmen Rupe and Georgina Beyer

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

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

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How to cite this page:

Johanna Schmidt, 'Gender diversity - Transgender/transsexual people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 May 2024)

Story by Johanna Schmidt, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 May 2021 with assistance from Gender Minorities Aotearoa