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Social justice advocate Susan Gapka receives key to the city

Last Updated May 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm EDT

History was made on Thursday at Toronto City Hall as Susan Gapka become the first trans person ever to be presented with the key to the city.

It comes on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Gapka is one of the most prominent social justice advocates in this city and is a familiar face around city hall.

She’s often seen deputing during a committee meeting, sitting in the gallery in council chambers, or walking by to a meeting or her own.

“For decades she has demonstrated that you can effectively push for change, not just through advocacy and through engagement, but also through exposure,” Mayor John Tory said at the ceremony.

“She has exposed people to new ideas and to new perspectives.”

Gapka has spent several years fighting for the inclusion of the LGBTQ2S community, as well as for affordable housing, education and mental health.

During her acceptance speech, Gapka said it’s been a difficult journey to get here and it’s not a moment she’s taking for granted.

“This is why today I feel so honoured, so welcome, so grateful in receiving this key,” she said.

“To be seen by others as a positive role model is very much appreciated and my heart swells with pride and joy, and I thank you.”