Today at vigils in communities across the country, Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with trans people and their allies to remember the hundreds who are killed every year because of their gender identity or expression.
This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an internationally recognized day to celebrate and honour the lives of trans, non-binary and two-spirit people whose lives have been lost due to transphobic violence.
“Canada’s unions remain steadfastly committed to ensuring that our workplaces and our unions are inclusive and supportive of our trans and non-binary members,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Every worker has the right to work free from violence and harassment, and unions play an important role in realizing that right – through member awareness, collective bargaining and legislative advocacy.”
Although we have seen many gains in recent years towards transgender inclusion in Canada, including the adoption of the Gender Identity and Human Rights Act in 2017, trans people, especially racialized trans feminine people, continue to be disproportionally targeted by gender based violence.
“Our work to address and eliminate violence and harassment at work must be informed by the unique needs and experiences of trans, non-binary and two-spirit workers,” said Rousseau. “Left unchecked, remarks, jokes and innuendo can escalate. We need to send a strong signal that transphobia is harmful and unacceptable. By challenging transphobia head on, we can make work safer for everyone.”
Learn more about the history of TDOR here, attend an vigil or event near you and take action to support trans workers in your workplace.