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Georgina Beyer

“Mr. Speaker, I can’t help but mention the number of firsts that are in this Parliament. Our first Rastafarian… our first Polynesian woman… and yes, I have to say it, I guess, I am the first transsexual in New Zealand to be standing in this House of Parliament. This is a first not only in New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen, but also in the world. This is an historic moment. We need to acknowledge that this country of ours leads the way in so many aspects. We have led the way for women getting the vote. We have led the way in the past, and I hope we will do so again in the future in social policy and certainly in human rights”.

Georgina Beyer was the world’s first openl transsexual mayor, as well as the world’s first openly transsexual Member of Parliament and from 27 November 1999 until 14 February 2007 was an MP for the Labour Party in New Zealand.

At the 1999 general election, she surprised the political commentators to win the typically right-leaning electorate with a 3,033-vote majority over Nationals Paul Henry and become the world’s first transsexual MP.

At the 2002 election, Beyer re-contested Wairarapa for Labour. She was easily re-elected with an increased majority of 6,372 votes.

In a December 2002 interview, Beyer said: “I get asked questions no other politician would ever have to answer. Regarding the surgery, you know. ‘Did it hurt?’, or, ‘When you have sex now as a woman, is it different to how you had sex as a man?’ Well, honey, obviously.

Beyer was a keynote speaker at the First Internaitonal Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal in 2006 and the Second Ion Copenhagen in 2009, as well as for the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust’s annual Gala, held in Toronto on September 24, 2010.

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