Congratulations are in order for Georgina Beyer who has been made a Member of the Order of the New Zealand Merit in the Queen’s Birthday honours. 

The New Zealand Order of Merit is an honour roll, which certain people become a member of by excelling in a field of endeavour, which is approved by Queen Elizabeth II herself. 

Georgina was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1957, with a clunky start to life as per her interview with Gareth Watkins, being moved around early on, then moving on to her mid teens, she decided she wanted to be an actor and was part of a local small theatre group in Manurewa, Hill Park NZ.

1976 was the year where she started her transition from her assumed birth to female, and 9 years later she would go on to star in short film Jewel’s Darl – where she starred as a transsexual character and would go on to win GOFTA (Guild of Film and Television Arts).

In 1995 she became a mayor of Carterton, New Zealand, then in 1999 she made the big-time and was elected into the New Zealand Labor Party for Wellington. 

Then moving up to this year, 2020, she was met with the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work with LGBTIQA+ services. 

 Whilst over the ditch in Australia her story and presence is being felt by another person New Zealand born Melissa Griffiths, an ambassador and public figure transwoman. 

Star Observer spoke with Melissa about the fantastic news of Georgina’s Order of Merit. 

Melissa said, “It is a recognition of all her hard work in making it easier for transgender people and the LGBTQI community in New Zealand. Also recognition of her efforts in speaking at conferences around the world and as a Mayor Of Carterton and then as Member of Parliament for Wairarapa. She has been a trailblazer for transgender people in New Zealand for many years now. 

“It makes me feel as though we can have a voice and be heard. Nobody like Georgina or myself set out to be trailblazers, however, that is what happens as a result of stepping up to the plate, making your voice heard and speaking up for those that can not speak for themselves. It gives me hope that I can make a difference too and make it easier for gender diverse and transgender people here as well.”

She added that the future’s looking good for trans and gender diverse people, with recent changes around name and gender changes on birth certificates, but there is still so far to go from getting society to understand these members of the community. 

“If we all influence society in some way even if just through talking to our peers, colleagues and friends about gender diverse and transgender people in a positive light then hopefully they will talk to their friends about this and so on. Hence creating a ripple effect which creates positive change for gender diverse and transgender people and hopefully this would spread to the broader LGBTQI community as well.”

From this it appears that if people such as Georgina rise up and gain ground for others, not only from the trans and gender diverse community, but the LGBTQI community, it will give a voice in higher places.

By Beau Driscoll

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