Tim Stevenson cites lack of LGBT rep­re­sen­ta­tion

The Georgia Straight - - News -

Aby Char­lie Smith

great deal of at­ten­tion has fo­cused on lack of eth­nic di­ver­sity on the in­com­ing Van­cou­ver city coun­cil, but there’s also a lack of di­ver­sity when it comes to sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity.

In a phone in­ter­view with the Straight, soon-to-re­tire Vi­sion Van­cou­ver councillor and LGBT com­mu­nity cham­pion Tim Stevenson said that he plans to raise this is­sue when he de­liv­ers his goodbye speech on Tues­day (Oc­to­ber 30).

“How is the gay com­mu­nity go­ing to be rep­re­sented by some straight guy that says, ‘Oh, I know all about gay peo­ple?’ ” Stevenson asked.

This was the first elec­tion since 1984 when an openly gay man was not elected to Van­cou­ver city coun­cil.

Many out-and-proud LGBT can­di­dates fell short in their at­tempts to be among the 10 coun­cil­lors elected on Oc­to­ber 20. They in­clude Onecity’s Bran­don Yan, Vi­sion Van­cou­ver’s Tanya Paz, the NPA’S Justin Goodrich, Yes Van­cou­ver’s Brinder Bains, and in­de­pen­dent Rob Mcdowell, who is a mem­ber of the city’s LGBTQ2+ ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

Two of Van­cou­ver’s best-known trans­gen­der peo­ple, Mor­gane Oger and Jamie Lee Hamil­ton, were also de­feated. Oger was seek­ing a spot on the school board and Hamil­ton ran for the park board.

One in­com­ing NPA councillor, Re­becca Bligh, is a vol­un­teer with the Dr. Peter Cen­tre, which serves many mem­bers of the LGBT com­mu­nity.

In 1984, COPE’S Sue Har­ris was the first out les­bian to be elected in Van­cou­ver, as a park-board can­di­date. The first openly gay man elected to Van­cou­ver city coun­cil was the NPA’S Gor­don Price in 1986. In 1996, Hamil­ton was the first trans­gen­der can­di­date for Van­cou­ver city coun­cil, with COPE. The first out les­bian to be elected to coun­cil was COPE’S Ellen Woodsworth, in 2002.

councillor Hec­tor Brem­ner from the may­oral nom­i­na­tion.

Brem­ner formed his own Yes Van­cou­ver party and, like Young, ran for mayor.

In the Oc­to­ber 20 elec­tion, NPA may­oral can­di­date Ken Sim lost to labour-backed can­di­date Kennedy Stewart by fewer than 1,000 votes. Young got al­most 12,000 votes and Brem­ner about 10,000.

In a new in­ter­view with the Straight, Charko said that it could have been an easy vic­tory for the NPA “if they had been more ac­com­mo­dat­ing to those that ran”. been true with Brem­ner. “They should have made it so that these peo­ple stayed within the group [NPA],” Charko said.

Charko ran as a coun­cil can­di­date un­der Young’s Coali­tion Van­cou­ver ticket but did not make it into the win­ners’ cir­cle.

Glen Ch­er­nen, who lost the NPA’S may­oral nom­i­na­tion to Sim, ex­pressed in­ter­est in run­ning for coun­cil with the NPA.

Ch­er­nen even­tu­ally left the NPA and joined Young’s Coali­tion Van­cou­ver as a coun­cil can­di­date. Like Charko, Ch­er­nen did not win.

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