Best of Vancouver: LGBT

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      Best evidence two-spirit Vancouver is in Vogue

      Vancouver-based drag queen Ilona Verley competed in the inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race. In doing so, Verley, who is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and grew up in Surrey, became the first Indigenous drag queen to compete on the Drag Race franchise.

      Although Verley got the boot on the seventh episode, they went on to be featured in an August 31 Vogue article and has continued to stand up for marginalized or discriminated people, including murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.

      Now that’s how you werk it.

      Bravest show of LGBT allyship

      Justin Morissette, a West End resident and SportsNet 650 producer and host, sought to protect LGBT people from evangelical street preachers who had been assembling and sermonizing in the West End’s historical LGBT–oriented Davie Village this past summer.

      When he confronted them on August 22 near Thurlow and Burnaby streets, he wound up with a broken leg.

      Vancouver police announced on October 22 that 42-year-old Dorre Love had been charged with aggravated assault. Sadly, Morissette may have to live with metal plates in his leg for the rest of his life. However, he has won the respect of all those who are seeking to stop discrimination and hatred.

      Best proof of LGBT progress

      This past year, there hasn’t been any shortage of controversial anti-LGBT incidents that have raised concerns, from the stance of B.C. Liberal Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness on LGBT issues to a vandalized West Vancouver rainbow crosswalk to a billboard expressing support for author J. K. Rowling, who had expressed views deemed transphobic.

      While these events are troubling and raise concerns about increasing right-wing activity, they also show how far LGBT movements have progressed. In addition, the response to such incidents—Vancouver Pride banning the B.C. Liberals from the 2020 parade, followed by Throness’s resignation from the party and his subsequent defeat in the provincial election; the removal of the billboard sign; activist response and Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s expression of concerns about anti-LGBT street preachers in the West End—show how support for LGBT people is now widespread in Vancouver, which wasn’t the case even two or three decades ago.

      Ultimately, these events wind up galvanizing and reinforcing support for LGBT people, proving once again that love really does win.

      Best demonstration that wildlife entering cities during lockdowns is nothing new

      Honey, puh-lease—bears have been wandering around in the West End’s Davie Village for decades.