Local LGBT community leader Jim Deva dies in accident

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Jim Deva of Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium was a well-known figure in Vancouver’s LGBT community. Deva, 65, died Sunday following a fall from a ladder at his home.

The sudden death was reported on the Little Sister’s Facebook page:

We are beyond saddened to report the unexpected loss today of the legendary and beloved co-admiral to our ship. In a freak accident we lost Jim Deva today. Our condolences to his partner Bruce and the many, many people whose lives Jim has touched in the 30+ years of the store’s existence.

Deva and Litte Sister’s were at the forefront of a Supreme Court battle several years ago, over the right to sell LGBT-centered publications. “In the late 1980s, Deva, along with partner Bruce Smyth and store manager Janine Fuller, took Canada Customs, now the Canada Border Services Agency, to court after the federal agency detained imported gay and lesbian books and magazines it considered obscene,” explained The Province.

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25th Anniversary celebration at Little Sister’s in 2010. L-R: Bruce Smyth, Jim Deva (owners) and Janine Fuller (manager), about to cut the cake. (Facebook)

The store was ultimately victorious. In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Little Sister’s.

Deva is being remembered fondly by members of the community and the many others whose lives he impacted.

Featured image: Jim Deva (Screenshot/YouTube)

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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