Georgina Beyer the world’s first openly transgender mayor, as well as the world’s first openly transgender Member of Parliament.
She resigned from Parliament in February 2007 after serving more than seven years as an MP. Achieving everything she set out to do, including ensuring the survival and strengthening of Masterton’s hospital, bringing government services back to heartland Wairarapa and the passing of the Prostitution Reform and Civil Unions Acts, has meant that she can now look for fresh challenges.
Speaker and LGTBQ+advocate: Georgina will talk about her life – her experience as the world’s first trans-sexual mayor and MP, life on the streets as a sex worker, her near-death duel with end-stage renal failure and her kidney transplant.
In 2020, Georgina was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to LGBTIQA+ rights in the Queens Birthday Honours.
Parliament: Georgina became a Member of Parliament for Wairarapa in 1999. She served on the Law & Order Select Committee and the Social Services Select Committee (as Chairperson). Prior to this role she was Mayor of Carterton, having been elected in 1995 with a 48% majority and re-elected in 1998 with a 90% majority. She reluctantly resigned as Mayor in March 2000 due to her parliamentary workload.
Theatre and Television: With a background in theatre, Georgina has had a broad and varied career. Her theatrical career began having won the College Cup for drama in 1972. She was nominated for best actress in the Guild of Film & Television Arts Awards in 1987, for her role in Jewel Darl. She continued acting in film, television, theatre and cabaret until 1989, then returned to Wellington in 1990. Other major acting highlights include Close to Home, Inside Straight, Shark in the Park, and Shortland Street.
Georgina moved to Carterton and enrolled on an Access Scheme, soon after she was teaching on the course and then became the course administrator employed by the Carterton Community Centre. In 1992 she became a broadcaster for the morning show at TodayFM, the first FM radio station in the Wairarapa for 3 months.
Author: Her book ‘Change for the Better’ was published in October 1999 by Random House.