Norma Lize. (submitted photo)

In Surrey, Norma Lize wins LGBTQ+ January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award

Annual award was created by Sher Vancouver in 2015 to recognize its late social co-ordinator

Norma Lize, a Vancouver-area journalist and activist, has won the 2020 LGBTQ+ January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award top prize.

In Surrey, an award ceremony was held Monday afternoon (Feb. 3) at the DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society campus on 76th Avenue.

An eight-member jury chose Lize as the $1,000 award winner after judging applicants from across Metro Vancouver, Ontario, Newfoundland and India.

The annual award was created by Sher Vancouver in 2015 to recognize the organization’s late social co-ordinator, January Marie Lapuz, a transgender woman raised in Surrey. Two years ago, the 25-minute “My Name Was January” documentary movie eulogized Lapuz, who was stabbed to death at her home in New Westminster in September of 2012. She was 26.

• RELATED STORY, from 2018: Surrey-raised murder victim remembered in new documentary film.

Lize, 27, used radio and TV platforms to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ topics in her native Lebanon and the Middle East before moving to Vancouver last year, according to a bio submitted by Sher Vancouver, a non-profit society for LGBTQ South Asians and supporters.

“I don’t see my involvement with my community as work that I do every day, as much as I see it a necessity for me to be alive, survive and give a chance to someone around me to feel safe, respected and included,” Lize stated. “I moved to Vancouver a year ago and I have been involved with organizations working with refugees and with the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus more on trans newcomers.”

Alex Sangha, Sher Vancouver founder and award co-ordinator, said Lapuz would be proud to see Lize as this year’s award winner.

“This is not surprising as Norma was also recognized at the prestigious Paris Prize for LGBTQ+ rights in 2018,” Sangha said. “We are fortunate to have Norma living in Vancouver now, and continuing her advocacy to benefit the people of Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.”

Three award winners were recognized at Monday’s ceremony, including Andy Holmes (given a $600 prize as first runner-up), Jackson Wai Chung Tse ($400, second runner-up) and Sonali Patel ($200, honourable Mention).

In addition to the top-four winners, seven Emerging Youth Advocate prizes worth $100 each were given to Aidan Andrew Pau of Delta, Candy of New Westminster, Gracie Reid of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Guildford Park Gender and Sexuality Alliance of Surrey, Moe Yang of Richmond, Nel Jayson Cruz Santos of Vancouver and Nyx MacKinnon of Surrey.

• READ ALSO: Struggles of South Asian gays and lesbians documented in new film.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey reduces fees for cabs to match ride-hailing services

Meantime, Surrey Board of Trade petition asks government to remove ‘archaic’ taxi boundaries

Streaking Surrey Eagles forward Tellier named to BCHL all-star team

The Quebec native scored 71 points this season

PHOTOS: Cloverdale’s Coldest Night of the Year charity walk raises $125K

Annual event sees more than 500 walkers take part

Ralph Robson honoured at Jim Gallagher Memorial Boxing event at Cloverdale Legion

Fight night drew crowd of 300, raised approx. $6,000 for amateur boxers

New book rounds up stories about landmark Surrey diner

Springenatic family marks 60 years of Round Up Café ownership

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Seven arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Calls about rock throwing on Golden Ears Bridge leads to arrest

Ridge Meadows RCMP arrest man with Canada-wide warrant for murder charge out of Edmonton

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

Most Read

l -->