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 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 transgender 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 transgender MP. She has since been a keynote speaker at international conferences on transgender human rights.
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New Zealand Herald
Photograph by Mark Mitchell
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