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Recognizing Trans Day of Remembrance at the University of Toronto

Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is observed annually on November 20th to honour trans people who died as a result of transphobic violence.

Trans Day of Remembrance was first observed in 1998 when trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith hosted a vigil in memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who had been killed that year. This day has since become an annual commemoration of the loss of trans lives of which there are a disproportionate number of trans people of colour.

Trans and nonbinary people continue to experience marginalization, transphobia, racism, transmisogyny, and other intersecting forms of discrimination. This can manifest as negative attitudes and beliefs about trans people, irrational fears and misunderstandings, disbelief or discounting of a person’s pronouns or their gender identity, derogatory language and name-calling, bullying, abuse, and violence. The stigma of transphobia can also create barriers for trans and nonbinary people’s access to and inclusion in services, resources, and communities. It is our collective responsibility to address systemic barriers and create resources and services that meet the needs of the trans community. At the University of Toronto, we are committed to creating an environment where trans and nonbinary students, faculty, librarians, and staff feel a sense of belonging.

Transgender Awareness Week is recognized from November 13th – 19th. The purpose of the week is to increase the awareness, visibility, and resiliency of trans communities. It is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of trans and nonbinary people and their contributions. University of Toronto community members are invited to participate in Trans Day of Remembrance by changing their virtual background or using an icon online which can be download from the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office website. Everyone is also invited to attend the University of Toronto’s Trans Day of Remembrance virtual event series held on November 20th.

The following resources and community supports are available through the following offices: