The following letter was sent to the Canada Post Corporation with the ask to release a commemorative stamp in honour of World War veteran and drag performer, Ross Hamilton.

January 16, 2024
To: Canada Post Corporation

Attn: Chairperson of the Stamp Advisory Committee
2701 Riverside Drive Suite N0875
Ottawa ON K1A 0B1

RE: Honouring Canadian 2SLGBTQI history

As Canada’s leading organization for 2SLGBTQI people and issues, Egale Canada supports the proposal for Canada Post to release a commemorative stamp in honour of World War veteran and drag performer, Ross Hamilton.

Drag has existed as an art form for centuries, and to this day it allows us to confront social stereotypes and biases regarding gender identity, gendered social roles, and gender expression. The art of drag remains a significant part of 2SLGBTQI communities as a way to celebrate personal expression, and create space for 2SLGBTQI voices. This is why honouring Hamilton, who was known for his singing talents as his drag persona Marjorie, is a meaningful way to recognize Canadian 2SLGBTQI history.

At the same time, it is important to acknowledge the discrimination faced by 2SLGBTQI veterans and public servants who were targeted and had their careers and lives ruined due to the LGBT Purge within the Canadian government. As noted by Veterans Affairs Canada, Hamilton was quietly discharged for “reasons other than medical,” which the military often used as a reason to release 2SLGBTQI service members.

  • Ross Hamilton’s story is featured in an LGBT Purge Fund report by Sarah Worthman, 2SLGBTQ+ Persecution in the First World War. Worthman observes in the report, “By telling these stories we can finally heal as a community a hundred years after these atrocities took place. Importantly, we are also able to see ourselves represented in national history and fight back against homophobic notions of there being no historic evidence of queerness.”

Shining a light on Canadian 2SLGBTQI history, and more specifically, figures like Ross Hamilton and his drag persona Marjorie, is necessary in showing that we are an integral part of our country’s past, present and future. This is why we urge you to release a commemorative stamp in Ross Hamilton’s honour.