Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Not without Honour

Mark 6:4 :
But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

From the Washington Blade Oct 20:
A hero a day: Georgina Beyer
Today the gay community and Equality Forum celebrate Georgina Beyer as part of GLBT History Month. Beyer is a transgender politician and the first openly transgender person in the world to hold a national office. Beyer was elected to parliament in New Zealand.
While in Parliament, Beyer helped pass the Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalizes prostitution and protects sex workers and their clients. She was instrumental in securing same-sex civil union benefits for New Zealanders.

Beyer was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal in 2006. She retired from Parliament in 2007, saying, “I can now look for fresh challenges.”

From her website:

1998 re-elected Mayor with 90% majority.

1999 elected Member of Parliament for Wairarapa with a 32% swing from National to Labour.

1999 - 2002 served on the following Select Committees:

* Law & Order Select Committee
* Local Government & Environment Select Committee
* MMP Review Select Committee - now disbanded with its work complete
* Primary Production Select Committee

Also served on the following Labour caucus committees:

* Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
* Māori Caucus
* Primary Production & Rural Affairs
* Local Government, Environment, Broadcasting and Conservation
* Arts Culture and Heritage
* Rainbow Caucus Committee
* Social Services, Justice Cultural Caucus Committee

Resigned as Mayor of Carterton in March 2000.

2002 re-elected Member of Parliament for Wairarapa with a majority of 6372.

2002 - 2005 served on the following Select Committees:

* Law & Order Select Committee
* Social Services Select Committee - As Chairperson
* Also served on a variety of Labour caucus committees.

2005 re-entered Parliament as Labour Government Member of Parliament (list position 35).

2005 - 2006 served on the following Select Committees:

* Chairperson of Social Services Select Committee
* Member of Local Government and Environment Select Committee

Resigned from Parliament in February 2007

And finally from the Dominion Post August 20:
Former Labour MP Georgina Beyer plans to move to Australia because she cannot find work.

The three-term Wairarapa MP, the world's first transsexual politician, said she was disillusioned with life after politics and upset at the treatment she had received from her former Labour Party colleagues.

Ms Beyer said that while other former Labour MPs were appointed to boards, she had received nothing and was turned down for a position on the Human Rights Commission.

The former chairwoman of Parliament's social services committee said she had been forced to accept the unemployment benefit for several months late last year before selling her house to pay the bills "so I didn't have to be on the dole".

"I have all this accumulated knowledge and experience and no one wants to employ it, and I'm not sure why," she said.
"It seems that I am not valued for my experience in either local or central government, so I guess I wasted 14 years of my life in publicly elected service and ended up unemployable."

Ms Beyer has been working part-time as Wairarapa's Violence Free coordinator, but the position finishes next month. She is planning a move to Australia in December or January.
The story also goes on to say what other former MPs are doing.

Jim Sutton: Resigned as trade minister in 2006; now chairman of government farmer Landcorp.
Dianne Yates: Resigned as a Labour MP this year; on boards of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Trust Waikato, Learning Media and Waikato Institute of Technology.
Janet Mackey: Former East Coast Labour MP; retired at 2005 election and now runs a Gisborne cafe.
Mark Peck: Retired as Invercargill Labour MP in 2005 after alcohol and gambling problems; now director of the Smokefree Coalition.
Roger Sowry: Retired as a National MP 2005; now works for consultants Sanders and Unsworth.
Deborah Coddington: Former ACT MP; now runs a Wairarapa vineyard.
"Jobs for the Boys (and Girls) is an ancient and dishonourable tradition in Australasian politics, just as it is elsewhere. Multiple Sinecures are handed out to the favoured few, and consolation prizes to the rest - even if they have "gambling and alcohol problems". Exceptions are few, and usually designed to make a point. That anyone who was chair of a parliamentary social services committee could not end up on a human rights panel is not just inequitable (disregarding the corruption), but actually a waste of talent, skills and experience.

I have all this accumulated knowledge and experience and no one wants to employ it, and I'm not sure why.

Ask Susan Stanton. She's still jobless after two years too.

And I'm wondering if there's life after a PhD. Will I be able to get a Post-Doc that pays almost the average wage? We'll see. First I've got to successfully complete my thesis, so I better cease goofing off and get back to it.

From employment expert Prof Julian Weiss :
...And there was the time when I landed my first job as a woman, knowing for the first time that I would not be going homeless. While I was working as a legal secretary, rather than a lawyer, at half the salary, I counted the loss as nothing for so many of my transgender friends could find no work at all in any capacity.
And in another article:
I remember reading in 1996 an advice book for transsexuals that read like Cassandra and Nostradamus reminiscing about the End of Days: "You're starting over as a woman, so you need to hide your past life as a man. Say goodbye to your career. Prepare to leave your job and find something with half the pay. Cut out half of the things on your resume, lest you be outed. Count yourself lucky not to be out on the street."

This is but a sample of the type of advice I received prior to my transition. It was right on the money.

It's still on the money.
She's the expert.


Anonymous said...

Zoe Brain said...

Actually, one of the sexiest and most sensual women I've ever met had a Ruebenesque figure.

And I need to lose weight.

Anonymous said...

The lack of job opportunities for Georgina is shameful. She is an excellent speaker and advocate and would have been an asset to the HRC.

I've always been open about my past and I get work when I want it. As you know, I'm extremely fortunate in that I don't need to work. So I can afford to be so open. I never want to be hiding any secrets ever again.

A friend got her PhD at ANU in 2001 and is now a Professor in an overseas university. You, of all of us, should have no trouble. But then again, Georgina should have had no trouble getting work either.

Battybattybats said...

How successful are affirmative action programs? As an argument can easilly be made that TG folk need them more than many.

RadarGrrl said...

It's prolly why I'll be staying in the military for some time to come. I do NOT want to be starting a second career as a 50 year old TS woman.

Unknown said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.

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