Trans rights champion among those to receive ‘Keys to the City’ of Toronto
Mayor John Tory named seven ‘leaders, community builders, trailblazers and role models’ to join a list of 59 distinguished Torontonians given keys since the city was amalgamated in 1998.
May 1, 2018
While living on Toronto streets for years, Susan Gapka had no key to a home.
After recovery, tenancy and decades of advocacy for transgender and housing rights, Gapka will soon be honoured with a ceremonial Key to the City by Mayor John Tory.
“It’s quite something,” said Gapka, the first transgender person to receive the honour, in an interview Tuesday. “I’m touched, I’m humbled and I’m honoured. I’m in some pretty good company.
“With this key I can open doors for others at the city of Toronto.”
Tory this week announced seven “leaders, community builders, trailblazers and role models” to join a list of 59 distinguished Torontonians given keys since the city was amalgamated in 1998.
Gapka, whose work includes helping get gender identity protections added to the Canadian Human Rights Act, was recognized by Tory for “her long and proud record of addressing issues related to affordable housing, education, mental health and community safety in the LGBTQ2S community.”
As an outsider, she said she learned with others, “how to persuade people that looking out for our most vulnerable is a really good idea for society -- that’s the key to opening the hearts and minds of others for a better society.”
Details of her key presentation ceremony are to be worked out, along with those for other recipients:
Since taking office in 2014, Tory has given Keys to the City to His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, Paul Beeston, members of the band Rush, and Drake.