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Georgina Beyer, the world’s first trans Member of Parliament, has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to LGBTQIA rights.

The former drag performer (that’s Ms Beyer, not the Queen) entered politics in the early 1990s and was elected to the Carterton District Council in a by-election in 1993. She was elected Carterton Mayor in 1995 – a post she held for five years.

In 1999, Beyer then transitioned from local government to the Beehive, becoming MP for Wairarapa for two terms, before continuing as a Labour list MP from 2005 to 2007.

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant said, “I’m proud that [the Queen’s Birthday honour] is another feather in the cap for the rainbow community and the transgender community, but it wouldn’t have happened without the people of Wairarapa.

“Rural, conservative people who overlooked my colourful past, looked at the substance of me and gave me a shot. We made history together.”

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