New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer, who became the world’s first openly transgender MP in 1999, has chronic kidney failure
The world’s first transgender MP, New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer, is seriously ill with chronic kidney failure.
Beyer had been about to announce her candidacy in the Wellington mayoral election. She has not confirmed if she will no longer stand, but her illness means she has to have dialysis four times a week for the rest of her life, unless she gets a kidney transplant.
‘I’m sure as hell not going to sit back and think, “woe is me”,’ said the 55-year-old in an interview with Woman’s Day magazine.
‘I refuse to be defeatist. This health issue has cast a huge shadow, but I’m going to be positive and proactive.’
Beyer had gender realignment surgery in 1984 and worked as a prostitute in Wellington for a brief time afterwards. She stood for election as a Labour MP in the 1999 general election and won a usually right-leaning electorate in Wairarapa, becoming the world’s first openly transgender MP. In 2007, she resigned from parliament.
‘I am very pleased and proud to say that I am now no longer the only transsexual in the world to serve in a parliament,’ Beyer said in her farewell speech to parliament in February 2007.
‘People have been asking me recently whether I have made a difference; on that count alone, I think, yes. It is not just me; it is the nature and character of our country and its fairness, in my belief, that we can look at a person and put aside some of the foibles and human frailties that occur in all or most of us at some time in our life, no matter what our beginnings have been.’
Beyer was watching from the public gallery when the New Zealand parliament voted to legalize gay marriage last month.
by Anna Leach
Source – Gay Star News