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Fundraiser launched for Vancouver sex workers' advocate Jamie Lee Hamilton


Organizers are asking for donations to help pay for a celebration of life for sex workers' and LGBTQ2S+ rights advocate Jamie Lee Hamtilton.

Hamilton died Dec. 23 at the Cottage Hospice after a lengthy battler with cancer. Hamilton has also recently suffered a stroke. She was 64.

The fundraiser highlights Hamilton's, "tireless, life-long dedication to fighting for the rights of Indigenous people, sex workers, LGBTQ2S+ folks, and low-income residents of Vancouver," and notes that she was a, "proud Trans, Two-Spirit, and Métis Cree woman," wrote organizers Dr. Becki Ross and Laura McDiarmid.

As a sex worker and advocate for nearly 50 years, Hamilton co-founded Canada’s first and only memorial for sex workers in the West End.

"Years earlier, Jamie Lee had been one of the first to ring the alarm bell to police and media about women going missing, and being murdered, from the city’s Downtown Eastside," the fundraiser states.

The fundraiser notes that, "Jamie Lee operated numerous community-based enterprises for trans and kink members, including Rainbow’s End, Queen’s Cross and Forbidden City."

"In 1996 she was the first Trans woman to run for political office."

Organizers hope to raise $5,000 by Jan. 20 in order to pay for Hamilton's Celebration of Life service on Jan. 25. 

"If we exceed our goal, additional funds will be donated to two of Jamie Lee's favourite causes, Warriors Against Violence and Out On Screen," reads the campaign.

As of Friday night, the campaign had raised $2,285.

Find out more about the campaign here.