George Hislop (1927 – 2005)

On October 8, 2005, George Hislop passed away in Toronto, Ontario. He was an advocate for gay rights, a leader in the community and a hero to many, particularly to young gay men. He was the first openly gay candidate for public office in Canada. Although he was not elected he played an active role in civic politics for over 25 years as a member of various planning committees and in 1971, he helped organize the first gay rights demonstration on Parliament Hill. In 1958, George met his partner, Ronald Shearer. They spent the next 28 years together. When Ronald died in 1986, George enquired about receiving pension benefits. When denied, he launched a class-action suit against the federal government for not giving Canada Pension Plan survivors’ benefits to gay and lesbian couples. After many trials and appeals, George received a cheque for partial arrears this past August.

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