The Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed on November 20th, is a solemn occasion to remember and honour those who have tragically lost their lives due to ignorance and hatred, targeted solely because of their transgender or gender non-conforming identity.
As we recognize and commemorate Trans Day of Remembrance in 2023, our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that anti-trans sentiment continues to cast a dark shadow over our society. This year serves as a poignant reminder that the struggle for equality and acceptance within the trans and non-binary community is far from over.
On Monday, November 20th, Unifor encourages all our members to actively engage with this vital day of remembrance. We invite you to participate in vigils and utilize the union’s resources to spread awareness and support.
This year, we have witnessed concerning developments within Canada’s political landscape. At a recent Conservative Party convention, 69 percent of delegates voted to restrict young people from accessing essential gender-affirming care. Provincially, Conservative governments in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan have either discussed or implemented policies that jeopardize the rights and well-being of trans kids. These policies perpetuate discrimination and exclusion, placing the lives and dignity of our queer and trans community members in peril.
In our workplaces and at the bargaining table, it is incumbent upon workers to provide year-round support to our trans members. This includes negotiating for gender-neutral washrooms, gender-inclusive personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms, healthcare access protection to ensure essential healthcare services are available to all, and other essential bargaining priorities to welcome and support our trans members.
The fight for safety and equity for trans and non-binary individuals is far from being won. As we mourn the lives tragically lost, we stand in solidarity with our trans members and their families as they pursue lives characterized by dignity, safety, and freedom.