Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vancouver's LGBTQ Community Mourns The Death Of Jim Deva

Prominent Gay Rights Activist Jim Deva Has Died
Jim Deva
[Vancouver, B.C.] Jim Deva, the co-owner of Little Sister’s book and Art Emporium store in Vancouver, was considered by many to be a champion in the fight for gay rights. Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA for Vancouver-West End wrote on Facebook… “It hurts my heart to learn a true leader, hero, mentor and friend to so many of us passed away today. Jim Deva. It is so hard to process the loss of a man so full of passion, love, and life. A man that inspired so us in the battle for liberty, equality, free speech, and above all love. Love you Jim, and thank you for being you, all of you. Rest in peace. You live on in so many.” READ MORE

Community Mourns The Sudden Death Of Hero Jim Deva [Vancouver, B.C.] A shell-shocked gathering of friends, co-workers, activists and authors congregated at Little Sister’s bookstore to console each other and reminisce as they tried to make sense of the sudden death of Jim Deva, whom they hailed as a hero, mentor and a model of courage who inspired a community. “There’s a great big hole in the universe where Jim Deva used to be,” findlay says of the man, who, along with his partner, Bruce Smyth, and store manager Janine Fuller, tenaciously fought Canadian border officials’ seizures, destruction and censorship of gay books and other materials for two decades, a fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. READ MORE

Vancouver LGBTQ Activist Jim Deva Dead at 65  
[Vancouver, B.C.] One of Vancouver’s most prominent LGBTQ activists has died. Jim Deva, co-owner of West End institution Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium, passed away Sunday after falling off a ladder at home. He was 65. Deva was a much-loved community advocate and a trailblazer for gay rights. Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson had known Deva since the mid-1980s and called him a leader and inspiration to many. “He was an amazing guy,” Stevenson said. “He always stood up against injustice wherever that was found. He had a strong sense of what was just and unjust.” Deva’s absence will be felt in the community, he said. “He’s one of those individuals who is so pivotal, it will be a huge loss.” In April, Deva was honoured by the Association of Book Publishers of B.C., which awarded the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award to Little Sister’s. READ MORE

LGBT Leader Jim Deva Dies, Leaving A Community In Mourning
[Vancouver, B.C.] One of the most beloved LGBT activists in Vancouver has died after falling from a ladder in his yard. Jim Deva, the cofounder of Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, was 65. He's best known for the long and successful fight that he and store manager Janine Fuller waged against Canada Customs censors, who tried to prevent LGBT literature from being brought across the border. To those who knew him, his countless acts of kindness, witty sense of humour, and remarkable courage will ensure that he'll remain in the community's heart for many years to come. Many aren't aware that Deva helped the Vancouver Police Department become a more LGBT-friendly force. After a gay photographer named Aaron Webster was murdered in Stanley Park in 2001, Deva rallied the community to respond. Deva was good-natured, but he also had a toughness forged by years of facing down those who hated gays, lesbians, and transgender people. In addition, he was an early and vociferous advocate for a gathering space for the LGBT community on Davie Street. "What drew us together was discrimination," Deva told the Straight. "Now, it's got to be the social component that keeps us together because we've got to be together in order to be complete." Deva was small in stature, but a giant in making Vancouver one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world. As a closeted young gay man growing up in rural Alberta in the 1950s and 1960s, Deva knew exactly what it was like for LGBT kids struggling to come out. READ MORE