Transgender Day of Remembrance

Nov 17, 2022

Sunday, November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day for individual and collective reflection on the transgender people who have lost their lives to acts of anti-transgender violence.

TDOR was started in 1999 by American advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all transgender persons lost to violence since Rita Hester's death and became the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

2022 marks ten years since Gender Identity and Gender Expression became protected characteristics under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. Despite this, transgender people continue to face discrimination, harassment and threats to their rights, safety, and lives. Trans people of all ages are disproportionately targets of hatred and violence and the prevalence of transphobic ideologies remains frightening.

While trans people have played an integral role in advancing rights for members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, most people who have been murdered because they were trans were not activists or public figures, they were everyday people simply living their lives.

Protecting the inherent dignity and rights of trans people is fundamental to ensuring they can live safely without fear of being targeted. These principles must inform policies and foster cultures where transphobic behaviours are prohibited. We all have a role to play in cultivating respectful communities where we care for one another and protect against violence.

On Sunday, November 20, consider the lives lost to anti-trans violence and how these tragedies devastated families and communities. Educate yourself using the resources below and spread messages of support and gratitude for all transgender lives.

The preceding is a statement from Joseph Fraser, Director & CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.