Bashers targeted Davie St’s newest gay eatery on Nov 12, sliding a hate letter into Octane’s mail slot. “It is dick suckers like you people who should all die,” reads the letter in part. Manager Darin Hartmann says it’s not the first time bashers have targeted his establishment. Someone, possibly the same person or people, smashed Octane’s front window in August, too. And last month, unknown snipers shot out the windows of two of Davie St’s most prominent gay shops, Little Sister’s and Gay-MART. No one has been arrested in any of these cases. Hartmann says he won’t let the hatred stop him. “We feel the best way to counter such hatred is to be proud and have a good time doing it,” he says.
WANTED: NEW GAY LIASON
The Vancouver Police Department’s (VPD) official liaison to the gay community, straight Const Steve Eely, is about to get promoted. The question is: who will fill his position? Eely was only appointed gay liaison in Oct 2001, having received no formal training. Since then, many members of the gay community have asked why the VPD’s gay liaison isn’t gay. A gay or lesbian officer would likely be more approachable and have more insight into the community’s culture, says Bill Coleman, who spent several years on the VPD’s diversity relations committee before moving away.
When asked why no gay or lesbian officer was offered the position, Sgt Don Cayer told Xtra West he felt awkward asking officers if they’re gay. Now, Cayer says it’s out of his hands. Insp Dave Jones will likely choose Eely’s successor, Cayer says. Jones says he had just planned to ask Const Steve Rai to be the new liaison because he’s based in the Davie St Community Policing Centre and has been working with the gay safety committee for months. When asked if he would approach any gay or lesbian officers to see if they’d like to volunteer, too, Jones promised to broaden his search. Rai says he would be happy to fill the position if no gays or lesbians come forward.
If you are a gay or lesbian VPD officer and would like to be the new liaison to the gay community, call Insp Dave Jones at 604.717.2749.
TRANS REMEMBRANCE DAY
About 45 trans people and allies walked from the Centre to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Nov 20 to remember all the trans people who have been killed this year. They lit candles, told personal stories of people they’ve lost and read out the names of the 27 known trans murder victims around the world. “We need to remember what is going on here,” says organizer Tami Starlight, noting that this year has seen the highest number of reported transphobic murders ever. Remembrance ceremonies were also held in Kingston, Ont, France, Chile, Spain, Italy, Australia and all over the US.
Contrary to a mistake in the last issue of Xtra West (Issue 241, Nov 14),Phil Moon is not a co-owner of the PumpJack Pub. We humbly apologize for the mistake and for any embarrassment and inconvenience it caused.