Four Northlanders have been named in GayNZ.com's 2013 New Year's Honours list.
The website says the awards are to recognise some who have "worked tirelessly for our communities, and others who have bravely taken stands when confronted with hate".
The four are Whangarei lawyer Kelly Ellis, Whangarei artist Jessie Rose and Far North couple Jane Collison and Paula Knight.
The website - which provides news and information to the country's gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community - said 2013 "has been an utterly fantastic year, with heroes springing up from all walks of life".
It said of Ms Ellis - the country's first openly transgender lawyer who is also seeking to stand for Labour in Whangarei at this year's election - "This Whangarei lawyer and trans advocate was integral in the fight for Corrections to start housing transgender women in women's prisons through her staunch activism.
"From in the court room to under the glare of cameras, Ellis spoke up for trans women who were facing abuse and violence as they were housed with men. All the while the community advocate also bravely put herself and her life out there, taking bitter flak from people even within our community. And yet she continued to speak out.
"Aside from the political lobbying, Ellis also gets our respect for core work she is doing representing the most downtrodden in our communities. She is clearly heartbroken about the brutal wrongs which have been occurring in custody units and behind bars."
Rose made news last year when her mother outed her in a submission to Parliament opposing the Marriage Equality Act that legalised same-sex marriage.
The website said Rose's mother "told the select committee her daughter had 'chosen a lesbian lifestyle' after a 'terrible experience with men', ranting that 'homosexual conduct is repugnant'."
"Jessie Rose didn't get angry, instead telling GayNZ.com she forgave her mother and her parents were actually lovely people.
"She explained her parents were 'baffled' by her sexuality. And in return, Jessie Rose showed us the kind of compassion and forgiveness lacking from many 'Christians' during the marriage equality debate."
Jane Collison and Paula Knight hit the headlines in May when they went to stay at Whangarei's Pilgrim Planet Lodge only to be told that they would have to have single beds.
"This embarrassed Northland couple could have just driven away and said nothing when they were told they couldn't share a bed by the Bible-thumping owners of Whangarei's Pilgrim Planet Lodge," Gay NZ.com said.
"An apology eventually came from lodge owners Karen and Michael Ruskin as a result of Human Rights Commission mediation. While the Ruskins are firmly among our villains of the year, Jane and Paula take their place among our heroes. We applaud the women for their stand."