Hamilton’s mayor has appointed two special advisers for LGBTQ2 community initiatives.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger says Deirdre Pike and Cole Gately will help develop a community-wide action plan to address discrimination, hate and hate crimes and to “increase inclusion and respect for all.”
Pike is a senior social planner with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton and is a two-time recipient of Hamilton’s Pride Citizen of the Year.
She also received the Harish Jain Award from the mayor’s committee against racism and discrimination in 1996.
Gately is the chair and co-founder of the Hamilton Trans Health Coalition.
He is also the diversity and inclusion facilitator for the trans protocol at the City of Hamilton and was the recipient of the Community Service Award from Good Shepherd in 2015.
Eisenberger announced the appointments hours after more than 20 “agitators” reportedly visited his home on Friday morning, yelling profanities, leaving signs on the lawn and banging on the door, according to the mayor.
Eisenberger had recently come under criticism after what the local LGBTQ2 community perceived as a lack of protection against a seemingly growing number of far-right groups in Hamilton, culminating at the June 15 Pride festivities at Gage Park when a self-proclaimed Christian group was joined by another far-right group known as the Yellow Vests in protesting the event, resulting in violence and eventual arrests by Hamilton police.
Pride organizers believe police took too long to intervene.
Friday is also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the foundation of the modern-day LGBTQ2 rights movement.
—With a file from Anthony Urciuoli
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