Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly transgender Mayor and Member of Parliament in recorded history, passed away peacefully at Mary Potter Hospice, 6 March 2023 at 3.30pm.
Our Executive Director Ahi Wi-Hongi wrote a small tribute to her here.
For many, many trans people in Aotearoa, Georgina Beyer was the first – and for some the only – transgender person they ever saw growing up. She inspired so many to accept their own gender, to be proud of who they are, and to insist we deserved more.
For those of us who knew her personally, whether through politics, activism, sex work, or other things, she was a character. Often hilarious, she didn’t have much of a filter and she just said exactly what was on her mind. Whether you agreed with her on the topic or not, you always knew where she stood.
Georgina was a “no nonsense” woman, she believed in “getting on with it”, and she cared deeply about trans people having a fair go. In the early 2000’s she was talking about transgender people needing legal protection from discrimination, and she put forward a Member’s Bill in 2004 to have being transgender added to protected grounds in the NZ Human Rights Act.
The advice in those days was that we were already covered under the HRA sex-based protections, and subsequently she withdrew her Bill. But, here we are in 2023 looking at how it might be made explicit so it can’t be challenged. She was right all along, and we intend to see it through.
In the early 2000’s, Georgina was actually not sure if she supported the Prostitution Reform Bill, but she listened. She knew a lot of sex workers, and right at the end when it was being voted on, she made her raw, impassioned speech in support of the Bill, which many people think of when they think of Georgina. There was no ‘politician-double-speak’ with her, Georgina just said it like she saw it, so people could believe she meant every word she said. Ultimately, the Prostitution Reform Act was passed in 2003, giving legal protection to sex workers so they didn’t have to go through what she, and many others, had in the past.
I think that being direct and honest are lovely things to be remembered by, and while the world remembers her as the first openly transgender Mayor and Member of Parliament, I think her friends will remember her as the funny, soft-hearted, honest, and kind woman she was. We will certainly all remember her as one of a kind.
Rest in peace e hoa.
Read other articles from her friends
This article speaks to Helen Clark and Catherine Healy.
This one is from Chris Carter.
This one is from Louisa Wall.
Georgina did not want a funeral, but a memorial will be held at a future date. You can find updates on this here.
The Department of Internal Affairs is looking for people to help test the new application form for amending the sex on birth certificates. Here is a message they’ve asked us to share.
Message from DIA
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is looking for volunteers to participate in user-testing a new application form for amending registered sex on birth certificates. We are looking for people who have considered amending the registered sex on their birth certificates.
If you’ve considered amending the sex on your birth certificate, and you’d like to help us test the application form, we’d be very interested in hearing from you. Please read below for more information on the sessions, your privacy, and how to get in touch with us.
DIA is developing a new process that will allow people to self-identify the registered sex on their New Zealand birth certificates, so the documents better reflect the person’s identity.
Self-identification means people will no longer need to go to the Family Court to complete this process. Instead, people will apply directly to the Registrar-General by filling out and submitting the application, including a statutory declaration, to DIA.
A new application form is being developed to make this process as accessible and straightforward as possible. We are seeking assistance from members of transgender, intersex, takatāpui and non-binary communities to help us user-test the proposed form. This will help ensure that it is user-friendly, inclusive, and accessible.
The user-testing session will involve sitting with a researcher, filling out the proposed form, and providing feedback on the process. Interviews are voluntary, confidential and will follow pre-set questions. These questions will be shared with you prior to the session.
User-testing is scheduled for the end of March. We will arrange a time and location convenient to participants, and all participants are welcome to bring along a support person. Sessions will take 45-60 minutes and we will offer a koha for participants’ time.
Notes and insights captured during the session will be anonymised to protect participants’ identities. You are welcome to use fictitious personal information if you prefer.
No identifying details will be recorded during the session. The research team does not have access to participants’ records at DIA, and no information provided during these interviews will be associated with any current or future applications.
How can I help?
If you’d like to help us out with user-testing, please get in touch with me at my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange a session time.
Kaihoahoa Ratonga Matua | Senior Service Designer
Kāwai ki te Iwi | Service Delivery and Operations
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
This booklet discusses 13 personal journeys toward self-love, and discusses topics like attractiveness, shame, love, sex, and medical transition.
This resource for transgender adults is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships. It is designed for transgender adults, and may not be suitable for younger viewers.
PDF – read online or download
Восхитительные тела – Russia translation
This booklet discusses topics like taking responsibility in a relationship, emotional labor, relationship management, and frameworks for making decisions, setting goals, and carrying out plans together.
It is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships.
PDF – read online or download
This booklet explores some of the positive and empowering ways that intersex people feel about their bodies.
This resource is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships, made in collaboration with Intersex Aotearoa. It is designed for intersex and transgender adults, and may not be suitable for younger viewers
PDF – read or download