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“With the ongoing rise of the far right at home in Canada, and around the world, we must be extra vigilant at pushing for legal protections for transgender and gender-expansive people and for education for the public about transgender and gender-expansive issues.” ― Bert Blundon, NUPGE President
Ottawa (18 Nov. 2022) ― Observed annually on November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a commemorative day that was inspired by the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman. It has grown into a day that honours the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) encourages members to attend an in-person or virtual vigil.
327 transgender and gender-diverse people reported murdered in the past year
In their annual TMM Update TDoR 2022, Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide stated there were 327 reported murders of transgender and gender-diverse people between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022. Highlights from their report include
- 327 transgender and gender-diverse people were reported murdered.
- Cases from Estonia and Switzerland were reported for the first time – both victims were migrant Black trans women.
- 95% of those murdered globally were trans women or trans-feminine people.
- Half of murdered transgender people whose occupation is known were sex workers.
- Of the cases with data on race and ethnicity, racialized trans people make up 65% of the reported murders.
- 36% of the transgender people reported murdered in Europe were migrants.
- 68% of all the murders registered happened in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 29% of the total happening in Brazil.
- 35% of the murders took place on the street, and 27% in their own residence.
- Most of the victims who were murdered were between 31 and 40 years old.
It’s important to note that most of this data has been reported by countries with legal protections for 2SLGBTQIA+ people and also have a network of non-profits that support 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Most of the violence and crime committed against transgender and gender-diverse people goes unreported.
Ending gender- and identity-based violence
A national survey, Trans women and Intimate Partner Violence, of 667 transgender women by Trans PULSE Canada in 2019 found that 3 in 5 transgender women had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) since the age of 16. Transgender people face barriers accessing services due to gender biases and cisnormativity. IPV can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions, can impact a person’s ability to work and keep a job, their ability to keep and form friendships and relationships with family, and cause harm in many other areas of a person’s life.
According to a study by the Department of Justice, An Estimation of the Economic Impact of Spousal Violence in Canada, 2009, the total economic impact of spousal violence that year was $7.4 billion, amounting to $220 per Canadian. This number does not include the additional economic impact of spousal violence against transgender and gender-diverse people, as the report studied only cisgender spousal violence. It also does not account for cisgender, transgender, or gender-diverse people who experience IPV but aren’t married to their partner.
“With the ongoing rise of the far right at home in Canada, and around the world, we must be extra vigilant at pushing for legal protections for transgender and gender-expansive people and for education for the public about transgender and gender-expansive issues,” said Bert Blundon, NUPGE President.
“We stand in solidarity with the transgender and gender-expansive communities,” said Jason MacLean, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer. “We mourn the lives that were lost this year and recommit to making Canada a safer, more equitable place for transgender and gender-expansive people.”