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Fundraiser launched for sex workers' rights advocate Jamie Lee Hamilton

"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."
Photo: Dr. Becki Ross and Laura McDiarmid / GoFundMe

Organizers are asking for donations to help pay for a Celebration of Life for sex workers' and LGBT2SQ+ rights advocate, Jamie Lee Hamilton.

Dr. Becki Ross and Laura McDiarmid, GoFundMe organizers, write that Hamilton died on Dec. 23, 2019 after, "a short, valiant battle with cancer." 

Hamilton was 64. 

The fundraiser highlights Hamilton's, "tireless, life-long dedication to fighting for the rights of Indigenous people, sex workers, LGBT2SQ+ folks, and low-income residents of Vancouver," and notes that she was a, "proud Trans, Two-Spirit, and Métis Cree woman." 

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. She was also one of the first to bring attention to police and media about missing and murdered in the Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

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.

Find out more about the campaign here.

Read an obituary for Jamie Lee Hamilton by Sandra Thomas, travel and lifestyle editor at the Vancouver Courier, here.