The first Transgender Day of Remembrance resulted from the vicious murder of a transgendered person on November 28, 1998. The event led to the launching of "Remembering Our Dead” – a web project combined with a vigil that vividly illustrated the travesties suffered by transgendered people in San Francisco.
The November 20th day of Remembrance has since continued. Each year it reminds us that transgendered people still live in fear of violence, isolation, and discrimination – right across this country and around the world.
The transgender day of remembrance is an opportunity to raise awareness to the violence and discrimination faced by gender variant people – and the persistence of prejudice felt by the transgender community as a whole.
On November 20th, workplaces and communities across Canada and around the world will take the time to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance and commemorate those individuals who have lost their lives or faced violence and discrimination due to transphobia.
We take this day not only to remember the lives lost, but to recommit ourselves and our Union to the work that is needed to improve health care services, access to meaningful work and access to housing for transgender people. We need to ensure that our workplaces are free of discrimination not only in Unifor work places but all work places right across this country.
Today we recommit to the work required to eliminate and reduce transphobia in our workplaces and society, as allies, as members of the Trans community and as trade unionists.
Unifor is calling on the Government of Canada to make enacting Transgender Rights legislation a priority in the first year of their term. Bill C-279 was ignored by the former Harper government and left to die on the order paper in the Senate. We urge the newly elected Liberal government to put forward federal legislation to entrench explicit protections for gender identity and gender expression in Canadian Human Rights code. In addition, this legislation needs a strong provision for hate crimes sentencing - if the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity.
Unifor stands with all transgendered members in our workplaces and in our communities.
To assist members in transition and to help our workplaces and local unions provide support for our transgender and transitioning members and families, Unifor has created a booklet.
To download the booklet please visit: