By: MOSAIC Centre for Diversity
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) observed annually on November 20th, serves as a reminder of the discrimination, violence, and prejudice that continue to threaten our trans community. This day is a time to reflect on the many trans lives lost due to systemic transphobia. We encourage you to take a moment to think about the individuals who have faced unimaginable hardships and to honor their memory.
In 1999, transgender activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith initiated TDoR as a vigil to pay tribute to the memory of Rita Hester, a black trans woman who was tragically murdered in 1998. This vigil served as a solemn remembrance for all transgender individuals who had fallen victim to violence, and it marked the inception of an enduring tradition now known as the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. It has grown into a global observance that acknowledges the resilience and strength of trans people while demanding justice for those we have lost.
This day also serves as a call to action. It is a reminder that we must come together as a community and as allies to combat discrimination and violence against trans individuals.
In the face of adversity, it is essential to provide resources and support to trans individuals. Whether it is through counseling services, community outreach, or support programs, organizations and institutions must continue to support those who need it most. As an ally, we can reach out to the institutions we engage with and ask what resources they provide for the trans community.
We must also advocate for systemic change that eliminates discrimination and violence. This includes supporting legislation and policies that protect the rights of trans individuals, as well as educating others about the importance of inclusivity.
Across the world, various events and vigils are held to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance. Attending these events can be a powerful way to show your support and solidarity with the trans community. Check with your local LGBTQ+ organizations or community centers to find out about events near you.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is not only a day to remember those we have lost but also a call to action for a more inclusive world. Together, we can work towards a future where all trans individuals can live their lives free from violence and thrive while being themselves fully.
Let us remember, unite, and work for a brighter future this Transgender Day of Remembrance.
MOSAIC’s I Belong Program is welcoming all LGBTQIA2+ refugees and newcomers. We provide a safe space to connect and receive personalized support.
Interdisciplinary professional organization which works to support the health, wellbeing, and dignity of trans and gender diverse people.
Improving access to justice for Two Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming (2STNBGN) communities
A project aiming to disseminate human rights information that is accurate, accessible, and relevant to the safety and well-being of trans and gender-diverse individuals and their supportive allies across British Columbia.
Sher Vancouver provides arts and cultural, and social service programs and services to queer South Asians and their friends, families, and allies in Metro Vancouver.
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When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home in New Westminster, BC, her community reacts, and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges.
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In Canada, violence against diverse Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people is high and their experiences of gender-based violence is unique. But when we talk about gender-based violence, we rarely focus on their unique experiences, nor have we historically centred their solutions and ideas for change. Fae Johnstone, public speaker, consultant, educator and community organizer, joins Canadian Women’s Foundation’s podcast “Alright, Now What?” to shine a spotlight on the issues and the changes that need to happen.