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Marking the Loss of West End Hero Jim Deva October 8th, 2014 Victoria
A man I always knew as an unstoppable force of nature for all that is good in the world was no more for this world.
Jim Deva had died.
It’s been hard to process the loss of a man who was always a pillar of strength in times of pain.
A man who did what he could to allow us all to love freely, to embrace sexuality and not hide from it, to fight censorship, and fight for free speech and equality.
Jim, and his partner Bruce founded Little Sisters bookstore in the early 80’s to give gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people a home, and access to products and books no one else would sell because of fear, and discrimination.
In the first few years his store was bombed three times by those promoting hate. But he continued on. He also had to face a Canadian government who quite happily banned the import of books he was trying to sell.
With Janine Fuller, Bruce, and a growing community Jim fought all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually winning for free speech, and for us all in the Supreme Court.
Jim was vindicated and Little Sisters thrived.
It is hard to process the loss of a man so full of passion, love, and life. A man that inspired so many.
But Jim wouldn’t want us to focus just on him. For Jim it was always about encouraging a community to take leadership.
I likely wouldn’t be here today without Jim’s encouragement, and so many have similar stories. If you had a dream Jim would ask why you weren’t going out and building it. Indeed in Jim’s death we are reminded how precious and fleeting our brief moment on this world is. We all have a life to live, and so much to give now. Now is our time.
I will miss you Jim Deva.
I don’t believe you are gone.
Jim, thank you for being you, all of you, so we could be all we are.
Rest in peace, and love.
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