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Statement by Mayor Fred Eisenberger on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and 2SLGBTQ+ communities

HAMILTON, ON - Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the foundation of the modern-day 2SLGBTQ+ rights movement. On June 28, 1969, hundreds of transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people joined together in protest against police who raided the Greenwich Village bar in New York City, which the riots were named after, launching a struggle for civil rights that continues half a century later.

On this day, and every day, I stand in solidarity with our 2SLGBTQ+ communities and allies and celebrate the immeasurable contributions 2SLGBTQ+ people have made to our society. Today, we continue to take the steps necessary to increase inclusion and respect for all.

I am pleased to announce that Deirdre Pike and Cole Gately have graciously agreed to be my special advisors for 2SLGBTQ+ community initiatives and to help as we develop a community-wide action plan on how we move forward, together.

Deirdre and Cole will aid in the upcoming 2SLGBTQ+ meeting that will focus on building a stronger relationship, addressing hate and hate crimes, and developing a collaborative strategy to address discrimination against 2SLGBTQ+ communities in our city. They will also aid in the broader conversation addressing racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and discrimination against 2SLGBTQ+ and indigenous communities.

Deirdre is a senior social planner with the Social Planning and Research Council (SPRC) since 2001. She is a strong advocate for equity and inclusion and is a two-time recipient of Hamilton’s Pride Citizen of the Year. Deirdre also received the Harish Jain award by the Mayor’s Committee Against Racism & Discrimination in 1996.

Cole is the Diversity & Inclusion Facilitator for the Trans Protocol at the City of Hamilton. He is a well-known advocate of 2SLGBTQ+ rights, and he uses an intersectional feminist lens in his analysis and education. He was the recipient in 2015 of the Community Service Award from Good Shepherd. And in 2017 he received an Educator Award from McMaster University. He is also the chair and co-founder of Hamilton Trans Health Coalition.

I look forward to working with Cole and Deirdre who are both community engagers and social activists. Both have a reputation for facilitating conversation and engagement and have worked tirelessly for the advancement of 2SLGBTQ+ rights.

With their help, and through a full community consultation, next year when we raise the Pride and Trans flags, we know our community will be in a stronger place.

I will continue to promote a Hamilton For All where everyone in this great city of ours feels safe and welcome.