This Sunday, November 20, marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to memorialize victims of transphobic violence.
November 20 was originally a vigil to honour Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, who was killed in her Boston apartment in 1998. Her murder remains unsolved.
Today, November 20 represents a moment to honour the lives lost to anti-transgender violence, both here in Canada and around the world. According to the 519, between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022, there have been 389 reports of deaths within trans communities across the world – though this figure doesn’t capture the many cases that go unreported. Across the border in the United States, murders of trans people have nearly doubled over the past four years, with Black trans women being the most at risk. Bigoted and transphobic legislations are attacking the rights and safety of trans and gender-diverse youth.
Locally, we know that trans and gender nonconforming people are more likely to face violence. According to the Mapping the Void report, which studied the experiences of Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ people in Hamilton, those who identified as transgender or gender nonconforming were less likely to feel safe in their housing, in their neighbourhoods or on their street. Transgender people were also more likely to feel unsafe at work, at school, in medical centres and in clubs and bars.
And, compared to white transgender people within the Greater Hamilton population, racialized trans people felt considerably less safe both at home and in public spaces. According to the report, the place where trans people felt most unsafe were public washrooms, highlighting the need for all-gender washrooms.
At YWCA Hamilton, we believe that trans rights are human rights. We will continue our work to ensure that all residents of Hamilton, including the Queer/Trans community, are able to feel safe and welcome in our city. We know that there is much work to be done – but we remain encouraged by the incredible activism, passion, and dedication of the trans community.
We see you. We support you. And we value you.
Trans Day of Remembrance events in Hamilton
Trans Day of Remembrance All-Day Drop-in Event
Sunday, Nov. 20 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
38 James St. S, Second Floor A safe space for community, button-making, the creation of a mural, and supplies for smudging Masks required. Bus fare available, light refreshments provided.
Trans Day of Remembrance Annual Dinner
Wednesday, November 23 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Compass Community Health, 438 Hughson St. N
Free to attend – trans/nonbinary folks and friends/family are welcome.