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Public used to be more easily affronted

posted 20 Nov 2016, 01:10 by Sandra Kirby
Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance- our church service devoted to it.  The day where transgender people who have lost their lives through violence are remembered.  Gem, the speaker at church, talked about us living in a transgender spring - quite an interesting analogy.  There are positive changes in behaviour and attitudes but every so often a cold southerly blows and you realise all is not yet rosy.
We also heard that 50 years ago a man dressing as a woman was "an affront to public decency" and a man could be arrested on sight.  Carmen - quite a famous Wellington transsexual (who was supported by Bob Jones to run for mayor of Wellington but that is another story) was in a car with a man.  Police stoped car for minor traffic offence; Police saw Carmen and arrested her.  Next day in court Carmen turned up fully dressed (in one) and was sent home to find "suitable attire" (I don't think the pun was intended) Good defence lawyer apparently because the judge ended up throwing out the case and noted that a man in a dress inside a car or other private place could not be said to offend public morals.  
Not only are the Wellington public no longer affronted by Carmen - the green man at some pedestrian crossings is in fact a silhouette of Carmen. 

The photo is of Carmen in front with Georgina Bayer, another high profile transgender woman who did become mayor (of Carterton) and then MP.