The Trans Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender or anti-transsexual hatred or prejudice. Events are held internationally in November to honour transgender and transsexual people who have died through violence. The Trans Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes. The Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honours the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of indifference and hatred. The Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by violence.

“We hope to raise awareness on this day”, said Susan Gapka, Chair of Egale’s Trans Issues Committee. “Trans Day of Remembrance commemorates those we have lost. It is also a vehicle to change public perception about transgender and transsexual persons.”

“Transphobia is a mark against humanity, my humanity – our humanity”, continued Gapka. “On this day we pause and reflect for a moment. We come together to gather strength and when our friends support us they give us strength. I am a human being and I am simply seeking to lead a happy life, free from discrimination and violence.”

“Communities are coming together to honor and pay our respects to those taken from us,” said Tami Starlight, organizer of the Vancouver event. “This past year has seen the most reported anti-transgender violence, ever, in our history. We shall not forget, we shall stand together to help each other and society to educate and inform.”

“Most ‘Trans Day of Remembrance’ ceremonies address ‘trans people who have died because of transphobic violence’”, said Kyle Scanlon, Trans Programmes Coordinator at the 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto. “Here at the 519 we recognize it isn’t always as simple as that. People experience violence due to the combination of racism, ableism, agism, sexism, misogyny, classism, sex-worker stigma, homophobia AND transphobia. We don’t want to try to section off one small piece of someone’s identity and say ‘they died because of that’ when it probably isn’t true. We want our ceremony to honour ALL the pieces of our complex identities and lives that put us at risk. We want our ceremony to be about individuals, not labels.”

“Here in Toronto, our Day of Remembrance is very personal this year as we honour the life and memory of a friend, Cassandra Do, murdered because of her work in the sex trade. Here at The 519 we acknowledge the violence enacted on sex-workers, and we have chosen to incorporate this issue into our Day of Remembrance ceremony.”

Egale strives to support trans people in their struggle for equality and justice. Egale has supported court challenges to the de-listing of sex reassignment surgery in Ontario, Kimberly Nixon in her human rights challenge to being excluded from consideration as a volunteer in a women’s shelter, and the inclusion of “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination in human rights legislation.

Trans Day of Remembrance events will be held November 20th, 2016 in Vancouver, Edmonton, St. Catherines, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, and Saint John. 

Vancouver, British Columbia

They will assemble at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Carnegie Centre, 401 Main St. From there, they will march down Hastings St., west to the SFU Harbor Center Campus, 515 West Hastings, room # 1425. There they will have speakers, A showing of the films “Isn’t It Obvious?” about Gwen Araujo, and “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” filmed in San Francisco in 2002. After this will be a reading of the names, lighting of candles, and a moment of silence. An information table will also be available. For more details click here

Edmonton, Alberta

True Spirit North www.members.shaw.ca/truespiritnorth/ will host Edmonton’s first Trangender Day of Remembrance on Thursday, November 20 at 7PM at Garneau United Church, 11148 – 84 Avenue.
The event features a candlelight service to remember and honour those who have died. Several speakers will also focus on the challenges trans-identified people face as well as the issues that we must address including the need for solidarity within the queer community. The event is sponsored by True Spirit North (TS/TG Support Group), Lambda Christian Community Church, Garneau United Church, GLCCE (Gay & Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton), Times . 10 Magazine and Bad Boyz Lifestyle Solutions.

St. Catharines, Ontario

A remembrance will be held at Brock University in the pond inlet on the day before the Day of Remembrance, November 19th, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. This will be a remembrance and awareness event around transsexual, transgender, two-spirit and genderqueer phobic violence. It is sponsered by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group—Brock University, Brock University Students Union and the Student Development Center at Brock University, as well as, BrockPRIDE and Transgendered of Niagara. (I will be presenting on the Trans Health Project participatory research project).
We have the event listed on our website.

Toronto, Ontario

York University
TBLGAY
TRANS DAY OF REMEMBERANCE @ YORK UNIVERSITY
Thursday, November 20
2 – 4 p.m.
Sound and Moving Image Library – Scott Library
Cassandra Do – Skin Deep documentary screening
In celebration of Cassandra Do’s life
Cassandra Do, a transsexual sex worker, was murdered in August 2003 at close range in her apartment building in downtown Toronto. Cassandra was well respected by her peers and her life ambition was to acquire a nursing education and to save enough money for sex reassignment surgery.
After the video and discussion, we will be travelling downtown to The 519 Church Street Community Centre for a city wide Trans Day of Remembrance event.
Trans Bisexual Lesbian Gay at York (TBLGAY)

519 Community Centre

A Day of Remembrance event will be held at the 519 Church Street Community Centre auditorium from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be available from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m, a Ceremony of Remembrance and Celebration will begin, featuring a performance by Dana Baitz as well as other speakers, celebrating Cassandra Do’s life, even as we mourn her loss, celebrating our ability as a community to experience these tremendous wounds, yet continue to thrive, celebrating our achievements, and affirming our strengths.

Kingston, Ontario

To be held at Union Gallery, Stauffer Library, Queens University at 7:00 p.m. A short movie will be played, followed by a discussion on gender. Refreshments will be provided.

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil Human Rights Memorial at Elgin and Lisgar across from city hall and the court Thursday November 20th, 7pm sharp The vigil is to remember all the trans people who died to prejudice, violence, suicide and while fighting for trans rights and etc. This is the 5th anniversary of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and this is the first year Ottawa participates a long with many other locations and cities across the world, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.

Montéal, Québec

McGill University and Université du Québec a Montréal:
Trans/Gender Alliance to host TransACTIONS, the first annual Trans Speaker Series. The event will take place November 20th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in Leacock 26 on McGill campus. This bilingual event will address issues of importance to the trans community in Montreal and in a broader context.This free event will remember and honour those who have died in the past year, but will focus on the struggles and successes of trans people and activism in Montreal by addressing trans youth, health care, and sex work. This is a free event open to the public, held in a wheelchair-accessible space, with childcare provided. 
Also, the Women’s centre together with the sexual diversity club le Farfadet at Universite du Quebec a Montreal are holding a discussion on gender and transsexuality from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. at room DS-M540 of the J A deSeve Pavillion, 320 Ste-Catherine Est. Stemming from an excerpt of the canadian movie Better than Chocolate by Anne Wheeler, we take a look at the life of Judy, a transexual character. We aim to explore our own judgments on trans people and gender issues and discuss them. The Universite du Quebec event will be held in French.

Saint John, New Brunswick

In Saint John there will be a showing of the movie “Boys Don’t Cry” (with Hillary Swank) at the University of New Brunswick/Saint John campus in Ganong Hall 115 at 7:00 p.m.. After the movie a guest speaker will give a speech about what the Day of Remembrance is and read a list of some of the names who have passed away this year as a result of anti-transgender violence. There will be pamphlets and print outs about the Day of Remembrance available for anyone who wants more information, as well as biographies of this year’s victims. The event will get over by 9:30 p.m.

There are also international events across the globe

 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.