The West Coast's much-loved 'Tranny Granny' Jacquie Grant turns 65 today, and says she's "never had so much attention - I got lots of cards and pressies." Happy Birthday Jacquie Grant! The high-profile transgender Human Rights activist has been involved in the LGBT community for 52 years, and spent the first half of her life as a gay man before gender-transitioning. She's currently a member of the Human Rights Tribunal, the Work and Income New Zealand Benefit Review Panel for the West Coast, a Trustee of Wellington Chrissy Witoko Memorial Trust, and an 'agony aunt' advice-giver on GayNZ.com. Previously she has been a stripper, pet shop owner, gay coffee bar owner, nightclub owner, cook, property developer, restaurant owner, dairy farmer, aquarium curator, manufacturer, and even ran her own Zoo and kiwi house. Grant arrived in New Zealand in 1964 from Sydney's King's Cross. "New Zealand was the only place I could travel to without a passport as the Australian police were chasing me and I did not want to be put in prison yet again for the crime of dressing in female clothes. "In the early '60's running down the street being shot at by Sydney cops, I could hardly conceive living to the next day let alone to 65, and turning into a poor old pensioner," she laughs. Grant says the highlight of her life so far has been fostering numerous children, "and the great friends I have had along the way. Some are no longer with us, however I think of them every day." She's planning a visit the hairdressers this afternoon, before heading out to dinner this evening in Hokitika with friends and family.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Monday, 6th April 2009 - 3:53pm
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