The man who spearheaded the first Pride events in the northern BC city of Dawson Creek is running for council.
Tim Mottishaw says being on city council would allow him to serve as a role model for the city’s small, openly queer population, as well as help foster change in his hometown.
“What better way to get started than at the municipal level where you can effect change?” he asks.
Mottishaw, who may be known to members of Vancouver’s queer community for his work on radiogay.ca, recently returned to his hometown where he is now running for council for the third time.
This time, however, the 28-year-old runs as the city’s best-known queer resident, having appeared in drag on the front page of the city’s daily newspaper, the Peace River Block Daily News.
But, he says, being an openly gay man in a small town of 11,000 people no longer seems to be an issue.
“It’s never been, ‘Oh, he’s the one who’s gay running for council.’
“It’s no big deal,” he says.
When he first pushed for a Pride celebration, there was a small protest at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, he notes, but “we’ve never had another protest.”
Though he admits he still worries about the possibility of future protests, he says he’s pleased with the progress Pride has made in Dawson Creek.
“I’m very happy it’s in its third year now.”
Mottishaw was also instrumental in encouraging Dawson Creek’s mayor to sign a proclamation declaring Gay Pride Day in the city several years ago.
Now, he says, he’s more interested in the larger issues that affect the South Peace River district community.
The city is building a community complex which has been fraught with controversy over rising costs. Some residents have petitioned the city council for an audit of the South Peace Community Multiplex but have been rebuffed by current Mayor Wayne Dahlen and several councillors.
Mottishaw says whether there is a finance problem or not, there needs to be accountability to the city’s citizens.
The city is experiencing a growth spurt, he says, and it needs to be managed properly.