Trans Day of Remembrance — November 20, 2016

TORONTO—Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (Egale) marks this Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) alongside the trans and gender-diverse community, their friends and families, as one for reflection on the continued violence and discrimination faced by trans and gender-diverse people in Canada and internationally. While trans and gender-diverse identities are becoming increasingly represented in mainstream media and the public eye, trans individuals continue to face barriers to legal recognition and discrimination in accessing basic rights to education, housing and employment. More specifically, violence against trans women, particularly black, trans women, is notably higher than other groups in LGBTQI2S community, pointing to the dangerous intersections of colonialism, racism, transphobia and misogyny.

In the past year alone the Trans Murder Monitoring Project has recorded 295 reported killings of trans and gender-diverse peoples globally.  Given many acts of anti-trans violence and murder go under reported or undocumented, this number is considered the tip of the iceberg. The ongoing daily targeting of trans and gender-diverse individuals reminds us of the urgent need for immediate and decisive action from all people in addressing and eliminating anti-trans and gender-based violence in Canada and around the world.

In Canada, Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, proposes inclusion of gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination within the Canadian Human Rights Act, as well as details anti-trans hate propaganda and hate crime designation under the Criminal Code of Canada. With Bill C-16 heading to the Senate for consideration Egale calls on Senators to pass this bill so it can be implemented without delay.

In an increasingly connected world, TDoR also allows us to reflect on the global phenomena of transphobic and gender-based violence as it impacts communities internationally.  This November 20, Egale encourages each of us to consider the ways in which we can dismantle systemic barriers to trans recognition and inclusion in our communities, schools and workplaces and on how we can cultivate a culture of inclusion and safer space in Canada and across the globe.


Background Statistics

Data from the 2015 Trans Youth Health Survey show that over two thirds (70%) of trans youth (19 – 25 years) have experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly by others in Canada because of their gender identity. In school, more than one in three (36%) younger trans participants (14 – 18) reported having been physically threatened or injured in the past year.

These alarming trends continue when observing intimate partner violence against trans individuals, where nearly 1 in 4 participants reported experiencing violence from a romantic partner (24 – 28%) or being physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to (23%).

Data from the same survey show that 69% of older trans youth had seriously considered suicide, while 37% had attempted it at least once. Similar numbers exist for younger trans youth, 65% of whom reported ever seriously considering suicide, and more than a third of whom had attempted it at least once.

Egale’s study of Canadian schools, Every Class in Every School, uncovered similar experiences:

  • 49% of trans students have been sexually harassed in school within the past year.
  • 37% of trans students have been physically harassed or assaulted because of their gender expression.

The Ontario-based Trans Pulse study also indicated high rates of violent hate-motivated incidents targeting trans and gender variant people:

  • 20% of trans Ontarians have been targets of physical or sexual assaults because they are trans.
  • 34% of trans Ontarians have experienced verbal harassment or threats because they are trans.

The Trans Murder Monitoring Project provides extensive tracking of homicides of trans and gender-diverse individuals from around the world.  Data for October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 includes:

  • 23 reported murders of trans and gender-diverse people in North America.
  • 295 reported murders of trans and gender divers people globally.

According to the National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2015:

  • Of the 24 reports of homicides [in the US in 2015], 62% were people of color, including 12 people who were Black and three who were Latin/a.
  • Sixteen of the homicides (67%) were transgender and gender nonconforming people. Of the total number of homicides, 54% (13) were transgender women of color.

About Egale Canada Human Rights Trust:

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement.


For more information, contact:

Helen Kennedy Executive Director

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust