Each year, on November 20th, we observe Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) to honour, remember, and mourn the lives of transgender, two-spirit, and non-binary people who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. On this day, we recognize the suffering of all people in the transgender community who experience discrimination and hatred simply because of who they are.
Leading up to this solemn day, November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness Week, when people across the world work to uplift the voices and experiences of transgender people and help increase understanding about issues the trans community faces. In this week before TDOR, I invite you to learn more about the experiences of our transgender community members.
On TDOR, the CCFA will fly the Trans Flag out our office window and on our office door in the Young building.
How can YOU participate in TDOR?
Wear Trans Colours! We encourage everyone in the Camosun College community to wear transgender colours – pink, blue, and white – on November 20th. Show your support with your clothing, accessories, pins, lanyards – whatever you can wear to visibly demonstrate your commitment to the trans community – that you see them, and you care about their safety and wellbeing.
Take a picture of your trans colours and post it on social media, using #camosunTDOR2023.
Attend TDOR @ BC Legislature
November 20th, 8:30-9:00 am – Organized by the UVic Chair in Transgender Studies, you can join supporters on the lawns in front of the BC Legislature (near the flag poles) for a flag-raising ceremony and reflections from invited speakers. 9:00-10:00 am – TeVine will be conducting and recording interviews with MLAs and interested guests.
Join the TDOR Panel & Vigil
November 20th, 6:00-8:00 pm – T’eVine is hosting an evening panel and name-reading ceremony at the Vic West Community Centre (519 Craigflower Rd) and on Zoom. All are welcome to join. More information.
Take time for Remembering Our Dead
On TDOR, take time to read the names on this year’s list and to reflect. If you need support on this difficult day, the Trans Lifeline or our Vancouver Island Trans Resource website may be of help. Please take care of yourself.
Are you Trans or do you know someone who is?
Here is a list of reputable resources to help educate and support you or the trans people in your life:
- The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote and protect the civil, political, economic, cultural, and social rights of all people and communities.
- Queer Events (QE) is a Canadian 2SLGBTQIA+ organization committed to working towards a strong, inclusive & accessible Queer community; Transgender 101 – Trans Learning Resources
- Victoria Pride Society
- Victoria Sexual Assault Centre – Information for Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diverse Survivors
- Workplace Pride, an International Platform for LGBTIQ+ Inclusion at Work
You can also contact me if you are interested in joining the CCFA Sponsored, Camosun College Committee for Women and Gender Equity, who, in conjunction with our Library Faculty & Staff, bring you events like the Red Dress Interactive Art Installation during the 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence. But we need YOUR ideas and help to do more!
Being Trans on TDOR
This message from Eliot Newton, Education Coordinator for the Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), is for you.
It’s okay to take care of yourself.
If you are a trans person and Trans Day of Remembrance is overwhelming for you, it’s okay to turn your phone off for a little bit. It’s okay to take a (socially distanced, masked up) walk. It’s okay if you can’t attend the ceremony. Every day you live is a ceremony. It’s okay if you can’t be the support person today. It’s okay to have an extra slice of pizza, splurge for a latte, buy the fancy one-whole-dollar ramen. It’s okay to ask those around you to shore you up, today of all days. It’s okay to rest, to show yourself grace and love–and not just because you need this rest to get back to the fight tomorrow, but because you simply deserve it. You deserve to feel loved, safe, and hopeful.
It’s okay to take care of yourself.
Being an Ally on TDOR
What can you do to support your Trans colleagues, friends, and loved ones? Some thoughts for trans allies on this solemn day (Eliot Newton, CCGSD):
- Put your pronouns in your bio. This should only take you like, five seconds to do. This normalizes pronouns and takes the pressure off trans folks. Share your pronouns any time you give your name. Don’t assume OTHER people’s pronouns. Practice using singular ‘they’. You got this.
- Hit the books. It’s never been easier to hear from queer and trans folks. It’s an awesome time to expand your knowledge. If you’re a data nerd, start with TransPULSE (https://transpulsecanada.ca/) , which has just started releasing data from their 2019 survey. If you’re still hungry, SARAVYC just did a trans youth health survey too! (https://www.saravyc.ubc.ca/2020/03/18/being-safe-being-me-2019/). If you want to learn some history, we have some AMAZING resources (https://ccgsd-ccdgs.org/resources/). If you want to read some no-bull, REAL poetry and prose (but still leave feeling hopeful), try Kai Cheng Thom’s I Hope We Choose Love.
- Practice your lines. No, seriously! So many people are so unsure how to apologize that it trips them up and they say nothing at all. Others are afraid to step in in situations where they could make a difference because they just don’t know what to say. So whether it’s in your mirror or with a friend, practice just what you’d say when your pal gets misgendered. Imagine what you’d say to step in at work, at school, maybe even in a public space. This will help you be ready when your moment comes.
#camosunTDOR2023 #TDOR2023 #nomorehate #transpeoplearepeople #transrightsarehumanrights #nospaceforhate #everyonebelongsinaunion
“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
Visit GLAAD.org/tdor/ to learn more!
Sarah McCagherty (שרה רנה)
Co-CCFA rep on the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) Women and Gender Equity Committee and Co-Chair of the Camosun Women and Gender Equity Committee
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