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Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly transgender MP, dies

Former New Zealand Parliamentarian passed away Monday

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Former New Zealand MP Georgina Beyer. (Screen capture via Te Karere TVNZ/YouTube)

The world’s first openly transgender parliamentarian died on Monday in New Zealand.

The Associated Press reported former MP Georgina Beyer, 65, passed away in hospice care.

Beyer, who the AP said was Māori, was a sex worker and nightclub performer before her election as mayor of Carterton, a town on New Zealand’s North Island, in 1995. She won a seat in the New Zealand Parliament as a member of the country’s liberal Labour Party in 1999 and remained in office until 2007.

Beyer, among other things, led efforts to decriminalize sex work in New Zealand and to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. (The country’s marriage equality law took effect in 2013.)

“Georgie was surrounded by her nearest and dearest 24/7 over the past week, she accepted what was happening, was cracking jokes and had a twinkle in her eye, right until the final moment,” wrote her friend Malcolm Vaughan and his husband, Scott Kennedy, in a statement that announced Beyer’s death. 

The statement also described Beyer as a national treasure, or “taonga” in Māori.

“Farewell Georgie, your love, compassion and all that you have done for the rainbow and many other communities will live on forever,” wrote Vaughan and Kennedy.

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New Zealand

Transgender activists, allies in New Zealand shut down British TERF

Protester threw tomato juice at Posie Parker in Auckland

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Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, quickly departed from the planned Speak Up For Women NZ event at Albert Park in Auckland on March 24, 2023, without speaking (Screenshot/YouTube)

Transphobic British gender-critical activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull hastily abandoned her  “Let Women Speak” event-rally in Auckland after thousands gathered to noisily protest her presence on Friday (local time.)

Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, quickly departed from the planned Speak Up For Women NZ event at Albert Park in Auckland without addressing those gathered after being shouted down by a crowd of heckling transgender and LGBTQ protesters, later estimated by police to number more than 5,000, and she was doused with tomato juice.

One of her supporters later tweeted an image of Keen-Minshull taking a selfie after she was doused in the tomato sauce:

She was escorted away from the park and the crowd by a gaggle of Auckland Police officers to safety and driven away quickly in a marked Auckland Police cruiser.

Chaotic scenes in Auckland as anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker appears | Newshub:

A scheduled rally in the island nation’s capital city of Wellington by TERF supporters and others of Keen-Minshull had been also cancelled due to security concerns.

Scotland’s billionaire writer and Harry Potter franchise creator J.K. Rowling, who has become a fiery outspoken transphobic voice in the public discourse over trans rights globally, tweeted after the Auckland event was cancelled in response to Auckland Pride’s tweeted statements:

“There are multiple videos of Kellie-Jay being assaulted. Women have become used to lies, threats of violence and outright denial of reality, but if you imagine anyone feels ‘defeated’, think again. Your men’s rights activists showed the world exactly who they are. #LetWomenSpeak

The presence of neo-Nazis dogged Keen-Minshull’s controversial tour of Australia in the past couple of weeks and led to her visa to enter New Zealand being reviewed by Immigration New Zealand and Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

Neo-Nazi anti-trans far-right extremists gathered outside on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia, last week to support Keen-Minshull during her “Let Women Speak” event-rally in the state’s capital.

During the March 18 demonstration, the neo-Nazi protestors kept throwing up the stiff-arm Nazi salute shouting Nazi slogans. Last year the Victorian government had banned the Nazi swastika, with those who defied the ban facing jail terms and hefty fines, the salute however, is not covered under the law. The group also shouted homophobic and transphobic epithets and other terms denigrating the pro-trans activists as well as carried signs that read “Destroy Paedo Freaks.”

At a later gathering in Hobart, capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Keen-Minshull was chased off by trans supporters as a planned gender critical Let Women Speak Australia rally she held was met with angry counter protest.

Auckland Pride also issued a statement:

“Tāmaki Makaurau demonstrated its values today and stood up to the vile anti-trans hatred of Posie Parker. The thousands and thousands of Aucklanders who came out to stand in solidarity with trans communities sent a clear message to Parker, her supporters and the general public that intolerance will not be tolerated here.

Parker’s subsequent withdrawal from her Wellington event demonstrates the power of community organizing and solidarity in showing her that her hateful views are not welcome here. This news will be a relief to many in our communities targeted by her hatred.

Auckland Pride unequivocally stands by peaceful protest as a means of counter protest, and does not endorse any physical violence, regardless of the extent of injury caused.

There is a narrative quickly taking hold among anti-trans groups and individuals that Parker abandoned her event because of violence from our community. 

We reject this narrative. We are of the firm belief that the demonstration of unity, celebration, and acceptance alongside joyous music, chanting and noise of 5,000 supporters was too loud to overcome and the reason for her departure — and not the actions of any one individual.

We also reject that there was any further physical threat from our community towards Parker. This is a baseless rumour that is being perpetrated by those who feel defeated by the events of today. We urge the media not to repeat these allegations without evidence.

Auckland Pride was not an official organizer of today’s counterprotest, and organizers consistently reiterated that the kaupapa was one of non-violence and repeatedly encouraged people to remain peaceful.”

“Do not cause or incite violence, no matter how mad the other side may make you. Introducing violence into this protest will do nothing but harm our most marginalised communities” was clear in safety messaging from the Trans Liberation Alliance beforehand.

“However, as a leading voice in the community on these matters and an experienced organizer of effective and peaceful events we can play a greater role in advising and supporting future protests and counter-protests. We have taken lessons from today about our need to play a greater role to ensure future events remain peaceful and non-violent, especially in a time of rising hatred globally towards rainbow communities. 

While our community is in a celebratory mood today, we cannot forget that we have also glimpsed the scale of the challenge ahead of us in the weeks and months to come.

Auckland Pride, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Gender Minorities Aotearoa will make a decision this week about progressing our judicial review against the Minister of Immigration for his decision to let Posie Parker into the country in the first place.

For anyone who does not believe protection was necessary:

  • Neo-nazis were present at today’s protest in support of Posie Parker, alongside the far-right counterspin media. 
  • Posie Parker’s attendance also mobilized Destiny Church who were violent towards Minister Davidson, and violent towards counter-protestors on Queen Street and Aotea Square. Parker’s attendance unsurprisingly mobilized a coalition of hateful groups.
  • Going into today, the minister was made aware that this was likely and subsequently provided evidence of their expected attendance yesterday at the High Court. Justice Gendall agreed we clearly raised issues of public order yesterday.”

Keen-Minshull was later seen by multiple media outlets in the international departure area of Auckland International Airport. She later tweeted:

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