We'll miss you, Jim.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

We'll miss you, Jim.

The untimely passing of Jim Deva‎ leaves a large void in Vancouver’s LGBTTQ community. Jim was an activist, but more than that, he was a fighter. He never gave ground on principles concerning equality and social justice.
 
To say that Jim was the champion of equal rights for his community would only understate Jim's contribution to Canadian society as a whole. He was an instrument of change that impacted everyone across the nation.
 
I remember when I first met Jim. It was in 1993. I was a rookie politician, running against Kim Campbell in Vancouver Centre on a platform of ‎equality for LGBTTQ Canadians. Everyone said I had to talk to Jim Deva. He educated me about the blatant discriminatory treatment by Custom's Canada against LGBT bookstores. He was going to take the federal government to court if he had to! He did, and he never backed down - the Story of Little Sister's vs. Canada has become legend.
 
Jim was at the head of every LGBTTQ protest, march or demonstration in the city; always there, leading, supporting, bringing his enthusiasm and unflagging belief that the goal of equality was worth the fight‎. Jim's life was cut short too soon; my condolences to Bruce, Janine and all of Jim's community family. But we will also miss Jim! Because there are still windmills to tilt at, and causes – like transgender rights – to fight for. 
 
We will miss your omnipresence Jim; but wherever the fight for justice rages, your spirit will be there urging us on, and your name will be on our lips.