The upcoming Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20th that honours the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, hatred, or prejudice.
We encourage all who can to join Glow and reflect on the abuse and discrimination that many people of the transgender community face. In our day-to-day lives we must remember to understand and help abolish the stigma, discrimination, and barriers that many transgender people experience.
History of Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by transgender advocate, Gwendolyn Ann Smith. It began as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to anti-transgender violence since Rita Hester’s death.
The murder of Rita Hester also sparked the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and led to the important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. In 2015, BreakOUT coined the name Transgender Day of Resilience to shift the focus from one of trans deaths to trans survival and resilience.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder, Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. Unfortunately, like many anti-transgender murder cases, Rita Hester’s murder has yet to be solved.
To acknowledge Transgender Day of Remembrance, WUSA is sharing helpful Trans Resources from WUSA, Uwaterloo, and the Waterloo and LGBTQ+ community. In addition, a map of all the unisex washrooms on the University of Waterloo campus has been included in this article for those who would find it valuable.
Serves trans-identified and gender variant persons by making relevant resources accessible. If you or someone you know are having difficulty/have questions in accessing services and resources at the University of Waterloo please let Glow know (by whichever means you feel most comfortable – email, phone, in person) and they will do their best to find the information you are looking for.
Has transition resources (legal name and sex designation change processes, medical transition, and other relevant information), off-campus living, on-campus residences, medical coverage under the Student Health Plan, changing records procedures, and more!
Glow is holding a vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, 2022
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WUSA recognizes that much of the work we do happens on the traditional territory of the neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The land we work on is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty, No. 3 (1792), and this region is still home to First Nation, Inuit, and Metis peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work, play and live on this land and acknowledge that it is our collective responsibility to make our community and world a better place for all people. We acknowledge that educational institutions have not been a safe space for Indigenous students in the past and we continue to work to ensure that this is no longer the case. The work towards truth and reconciliation is ongoing, please do your part and take time to learn more: TRC 94 Calls to Action | MMIWG Calls to Justice Report | Native-Land.ca | Student Supports & Clubs