Labour MP Georgina Beyer has paid homage to the drag and transgendered communities in a candid interview with David Herkt of Jack magazine. Beyer is a passionate defender of the LGBT community – both in Parliament and the media, and continues to press for the recognition of ‘gender identity' in New Zealand's anti-discrimination laws. Beyer was raised in a drag and transgendered 'family', and identifies with the ‘House of Niccole.' "It's like any marginalised community," she says. “It's a structure that is a replacement for a traditional family and it offers support. There are icon-queens like Carmen and Niccole. It's a natural kind of hierarchy, built on respect. Sometimes you did get slapped into shape, but doesn't that happen in every extended family or whanau?” Beyer, former Mayor of Carterton, MP for Wairarapa and now Labour list MP, identifies with a broad "natural constituency", including gay, lesbian, transgendered and Maori. And Beyer is in hot demand with her constituents, second only to the Prime Minister in her busy schedule of public engagements. Beyer's Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill aims to add 'gender identity' to the list of grounds currently protected by the Human Rights Act. The Bill was temporarily shelved prior to the last General Election, but is now back on the Parliamentary schedule. Beyer became the world's first transgendered MP, when elected to Parliament in 1999.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Thursday, 27th April 2006 - 12:00pm
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