Most Wellingtonians will remember the Evergreen Coffee House as a popular spot in the buzzing nightlife of the Vivian-Cuba Street quarter – where you could get late night toasted sandwiches and ‘special coffees’ served with whisky from the café’s owner, well-known transgender queen, Chrissy Witoko. The interior walls of theRead more

We have a dazzling selection of headdresses belonging to Carmen Rupe (1936–2011) in our collection. Carmen was a legendary transgender performer and brothel owner – the headwear represents her more flamboyant side.Read more

Envelopes from Carmen. Photo by Kirstie Ross

Carmen Rupe (1936-2011), a New Zealand transgendered entrepreneur, entertainer, and role model, passed away in Sydney this morning. Carmen was a pioneer of greater sexual tolerance, who came to prominence through the entertainment and nightlife options she provided for Wellingtonians during the 1970s. Taumaranui-born, as Trevor, Carmen graced Auckland, Wellington, and Sydney with herRead more