A LETTER to PETER LADNER
I am forced to post this letter to Peter Ladner because members of the NPA are going around informing my friends that I have credibility problems and that this was the reason why I was not allowed to seek an NPA nomination.
I want you to judge for yourself whether I am an honest, decent and forthright person or not.
I sent the email below to Peter Ladner on September 1, 2008 and sent it to Councillors Anton, Ball and Capri. As well I sent it to my legal counsel.
My being denied an opportunity to seek an NPA nomination was due to me being a sex trade worker. Moreover, the issue of an ad I placed on a very discreet transsexual website caused enormous problems for the NPA. Of course, I suspect they have difficulties with certain issues I take stands on and their fear of me not toeing the party line if I were to be elected, was concerning to them. Ned Pottinger, the NPA President, who has only met me once, claims I am not a team player and then doesn't back up his fabrication.
For the record, I sit on a number of community boards, I was a Leader of the successful No Trademarking Pride campaign, I organized employees into a union at the Richmond Society for Community Living and was elected President by my peers of that union local. I founded a number of community groups which relied on volunteers working together as part of a team to bring about attention to serious social issues in this City. Currently, I am working as part of a team led by Dr Becki Ross in the expulsion of sex workers from the West End.
On my application with the NPA I very clearly stated I had most recently been involved in the sex trade from 2001-2004. They were aware of this. We talked about it in my first interview.
From 2004 until the present time, I have mostly been out of the sex trade as I have been working on certain projects which took up most of my time.
I must state though I have continued to do the occasional makeover, a once weekly show and organized intimate parties for adults dealing with marginalizing issues in our society.
The NPA apparently is now alleging that I somehow mislead them. They wanted to believe that I'm a REFORMED prostitute and that I haven't seen men since 2004. Specifically they DEMANDED to know whether I was currently "Soliciting men".
I have dated men as I am single and I informed the NPA that my bedroom is off limits to them.
The NPA though demonstrates its intolerance, ignorance and bigotry when they present that a sex worker couldn't be a positive role model in society.
They have stereotyped me as being immoral and not worthy of being a political candidate and this I find totally repulsive.
Jamie Lee Hamilton
September 1, 2008
I feel I must follow-up in regard to your phone call to me today.
After the initial shock wore off when you informed me that I was turned away from the NPA according to you due to "my credibility problems", I then was deeply hurt that you would even think this about me let alone state it.
Peter I believed in you and wholeheartedly supported you in your Mayoral dream. Moreover, I called people and really lobbied my friends to support you and the NPA. This was no easy sell either considering that many of my supporters have left-leaning tendencies and were disgusted how Mayor Owen had been treated. But they joined the NPA because they believe in me and believed in me when I projected to them that you were this truly amazing guy with the skills and compassion to lead this City. I often called you a world-class guy who would do lots for my community.
So after taking your call today, I am left feeling extremely hurt by your comments especially when you repeated a second time that " I have misinterpreted my supposed credibility as a human rights issue ".
Peter as I stated in our conversation, you were not part of that second interview that I found so disturbing. I also confirmed to you that the questions, especially the ones from NPA board member Doug Leung made me very uncomfortable as they centered around sexuality issues in my life.
At the interview when Mr Leung explored deeper into my private life, well actually into who I might be sleeping with, I informed him that he was crossing a line and I wasn't about to answer his question since I found it inappropriate and offensive. I also stated at that time that he would not ask those questions of Councillors Anton, Ball, or Capri.
Just so you know Peter I was upfront with Mr Leung and Mr Bakker when they presented the she-male online ad to me. I never denied that I had placed the ad on the transsexual site around 2000 or 2001. But that when asked by Mr Bakker and Mr Leung whether I was currently soliciting clients, I spoke the truth when I said No I wasn't.
Mr Leung further demanded to know why the site was live (meaning I assume still up), I said this was obviously an oversight on my part and once home, I would look into it. I further articulated that this was an old ad and there were old newspaper ads of mine that anybody could probably find if they wanted but that shouldn't preclude me from being a candidate since I have been very upfront and honest about my sex worker past. This is on my NPA application for nomination and was right at the top. I pride myself Peter in being very forthright about my life and I refuse to hang my head in shame for doing something which I needed to do in order to survive. I refuse to apologize for my past as I have hurt no one.
I finally want to say Peter that you also stated something curious to me which I want to address. You said this "my credibility has something to do with my business". Not sure what you mean here but my business is a small entertainment company where I organize intimate gatherings for people still in the closet who want to explore the gay or transgender lifestyle. These folks want to connect up with others so they do not feel so alone or isolated. At times these events also include makeovers for people struggling with gender issues who need support.
As someone who had to confront and overcome their own early gender conflict, I bring comfort to those struggling in life and for you to say this brings credibility issues into play is very insensitive. A number of my clients are married couples even. Just so you know I do not own an escort business.
Mr Leung was delving into this area above which is none of his business and I told him so. This in itself along with asking if I was soliciting clients is ignorant, rude, insensitive and discriminatory. And then to inform me that this will likely prevent me from moving ahead to the nomination convention is really sad.
In closing Peter, I had the utmost respect for you and your lovely wife Erica. My respect for you now, though, is quite shattered. After your call to me this afternoon I have been in tears most of the day. Your call really hurt. I truly was so happy to be supporting you and was thrilled when you won the race. I now though and I must be honest have reservations about your ability to lead this City.
I am forwarding this email to Councillors Suzanne Anton, Elizabeth Ball and Kim Capri and to Mayor Philip and Brita Owen all who I truly respect, honour and admire as they have been so respectful to me.
Jamie Lee Hamilton
"I believe you change the world One man at a time"