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Daily Xtra’s most read Vancouver news stories of 2015

Private investigators, Pride attendance, a trans pledge and more

(Nathaniel Christopher photo)

1. Odyssey owner Bijan Ahmadian (above) made headlines twice this year, first as he brought to fruition his vision for the iconic club’s resurrection on West Hastings Street in July, and later when he sent private investigators to a rival queer party, where they secretly shot video footage of people having sex.

The executive director of the investigated party called it “an attack on the morality of gay men, queer spaces and queer events.”

Some community members demanded Ahmadian’s resignation from the city’s LGBT advisory committee. Ahmadian maintains he was only concerned about safety.

(Angelina Cantada photo)

2. The BC Liberal Party (seen above in 2014) made headlines in 2015 when it refused to sign a pledge to support trans people and lost its spot in the Vancouver Pride parade as a result.

“Vancouver Pride Society has drawn a line in the sand: Sign the pledge or don’t march,” BC Liberal Party executive director Laura Miller told Daily Xtra. “As much as we might want to participate, we will not change our point of view to do so.”

(Angelina Cantada photo)

Unlike the BC Liberal Party, whose executive refused to sign the trans pledge to walk in the Pride parade, the Conservative party sought an exemption July 2 so it could march without signing the pledge. Though it rescinded its request eight days later, confusion erupted when it initially denied having requested one at all.

The Conservative Party (seen above in 2014) did not march in the 2015 Pride parade either.

3. Controversy aside, Daily Xtra readers and viewers enjoyed our fun video of the Pride parade, above, hosted by comedian Ryan Steele.

(Photo courtesy of Justin Bisson, above left, with husband Robert Madden, who returned home to Quesnel to speak at Pride.)

4. In May, we ran a popular story on a BC town’s evolution: How Quesnel moved from anti-gay headlines to its first Pride in June.

(Nathaniel Christopher photo)

5. In June, after many months of extensive renovations, the new gay club XY made headlines when it opened in the heart of the Davie Village, breathing fresh life into a previously defunct space.

(Layla Cameron photo)

6. Students at Simon Fraser University made headlines when they staged a “shit-in” for trans-friendlier washrooms in February.

  

(Niko Bell photo)

7. In March, as the iconic Hamburger Mary’s diner on Davie Street closed for renovations, some staff objected to the short notice as they suddenly found themselves out of work. The diner has yet to re-open.

(sincityfetishnight.com)

8. In September, organizers of a Sin City fetish cruise suddenly cancelled the cruise after police and liquor inspectors “took a sudden and extreme interest in this event.”

(Niko Bell photo)

9. Daily Xtra’s investigation into Vancouver Pride parade attendance found the figures organizers have provided for years are greatly exaggerated.

(Danny Gray Fox photo)

10. After years of community requests for a fence-free Davie Street block party to kick off Pride weekend in the Village, the Vancouver Pride Society’s cage-less model was widely hailed as a success this year by attendees.