Toronto – November 16, 2022 – This week we honour Transgender Awareness Week from November 13-19 and Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.
Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-19)
The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 is recognized as Transgender Awareness Week, a time to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face. The week is dedicated to raising education and advocacy on transgender rights and transgender justice. Throughout this time, grassroots actions are often led by community members and allies to combat transphobia and challenge systemic prejudice, discrimination and violence.
The 2020 UFCW OUTreach historic binational survey of LGBTQ+ union members found that UFCW members who identify as Intersex, Transgender or non-binary observed or experienced anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace at far higher rates than all other workers. Out of the 1,000 survey member response, 49% of all workers stated that they observed or experienced anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace over the last 5 years, a figure which rose to 85% when respondents identified as intersex, transgender or non-binary. In considering Canadian-specific data, the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS)provides national data on the prevalence of violence experienced by transgender persons in Canada. It also released findings in 2020 which found that transgender people are more likely to be a target of abuse and violence in public, online, and at work.
November 20, 2022 – Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20)
Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honours the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence this year. Since 1999, the Transgender Day of Remembrance has been observed annually on November 20, following the murder of Rita Hester.
Rita Hester was a Black transgender woman from Massachusetts who was killed in 1998 in her own apartment. Her case remains unsolved. The lack of media attention over her murder highlighted the disproportionate ways in which the death of Black, queer, and trans people are taken up in public discourse.
As a result, an outpouring of grief and anger sparked a movement and an annual vigil that honours Rita Hester and the lives of transgender people. Known as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day seeks to commemorate the trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people who have lost their lives to violence and transphobia.
As attacks against the trans community grow in force in Canada and beyond our borders, fighting for transgender justice is more important than ever before. UFCW Canada and UFCW OUTreach is committed to continuing to advocate for gender affirming care, transgender rights and workplace protections through education and the collective bargaining process.
Find out how you can get involved with UFCW OUTreach by visiting www.ufcwoutreach.org
Check out UFCW Canada resources at www.ufcw.ca/pride