Despite his youth, Trevor Loke is already something of a political veteran.
In 2011, at the age of 22, he became the youngest-ever elected official in Vancouver history when he won a seat on the city’s parks board under the Vision Vancouver umbrella.
“I believe everyone should consider giving public service a shot at some point,” he says. “It's an incredible experience to be able to work for people and help them with issues that affect their day-to-day lives.”
Before becoming a parks board commissioner, he was a director-at-large on the provincial council of the BC Green Party and worked as a constituency assistant for Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington and as an aide to former Surrey North MP Chuck Cadman. He also ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Green Party in the 2009 provincial election.
Since taking office, he’s pushed for more inclusive policies for trans and gender-variant people in local parks and recreation facilities.
“Of course, I considered myself as part of a broader set of communities, but my experience and understanding of these communities was most deeply rooted in my experience as a white, gay male, an experience of privilege,” he notes.
Along with the policies, he helped create a community working group to address some of the barriers preventing trans and gender-variant people from comfortably accessing parks and recreation services.
Loke, now 24, says he looks forward to working on the group’s recommendations when it completes its report in April.
“When I began to learn of the various barriers to access which existed for our trans and gender-variant communities in Vancouver, it became apparent to me that we had left the ‘T’ behind, both as a broader queer community and as a society,” he says.
“This community is my family, and it's an incredible family to be part of.”
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