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Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience

History of the Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience

November 20th is a day to both remember and honour trans individuals who have died unjustly due to transphobic violence as well as recognize the strength and resilience of the trans community and trans individuals despite facing daily systematic adversity and discrimination. The Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) started in 1999 with a vigil organized to remember Rita Hester, who was killed due to gender based violence in 1998. The vigil honoured Rita but recognized that her death was not exceptional. Tragically, hundreds of people are killed each year around the globe because of their trans identity. While November 20th began as a day to remember trans individuals who are no longer with us, it has grown to also include a celebration of the resiliency of the trans community.

Events, such as vigils, marches, discussion forums, performances and more, are held on November 20th each year around the world. Join a virtual event to commemorate those lost:

  • Virtual, on Zoom: The 519 Community Centre is hosting a TDOR event.
    • When: November 20th at 3:00 PM AST
    • Online registration is required to attend virtually
    • More detail

Find more events and actions for November 20th and throughout the year at

Learn More

Some Statistics

As of 2018, roughly 75,000 people living in Canada identified as being transgender or non-binary (StatsCanada, 2021). The 2015 US Transgender Survey found significant evidence of the systematic discrimination faced by the transgender population, including physical harassment and violence; housing, employment and medical discrimination; and other economic hardships.

Additionally, the survey found that even greater rates of discrimination can be noticed when also taking race, legal immigration status and disability into account (2015 US Transgender Survey, 2016).


Some Definitions

These are some commonly accepted terms and definitions. But please note that the trans and gender divergent communities are incredibly diverse and some people may have different definitions or identities, which are also valid.

  • Sex vs Gender vs Sexuality: A person’s sex is related to their chromosomes and/or anatomy. It is usually assigned at birth as female, male or intersex based on which genitals they were born with. Gender is how a person identifies in relation to the constructed roles and norms found in society. Someone’s gender could be female, male, both, neither or something else. Sexuality describes what type(s) of people someone is attracted to emotionally, romantically and/or sexually.
  • Trans or Transgender: Trans or transgender describes a person whose sex assigned at birth does not match their gender. (Note that the term “transgendered” is grammatically incorrect. The term transsexual is often thought of as outdated or offensive; however, some people do identify with this term. If you haven’t explicitly been told by someone that this is a word they use to identify, don’t use this word for them.)
  • Transitioning: Transitioning refers to someone moving from one gender or gender presentation to another. Many trans people use hormones and/or surgeries to help them transition. Many trans people do not want to use hormones and/or surgeries to transition for a variety of reasons, and many trans people do not have access to hormones and/or surgeries.
  • Non-binary (also written NB or enby), Gender non-conforming (GNC), Gender fluid, Agender, and/or Genderqueer: These are some of the terms people use to describe identities outside of the gender binary (of man-woman). Some people may identify as outside the gender binary, move between genders or not identify as having a gender. Many people with these types of identities may also use the word trans to describe themselves, while many may not identify as trans.
  • Cis or Cisgender: Cis or cisgender describes having the same gender as the sex that was assigned at birth.
  • AFAB or AMAB: AFAB stands for Assigned Female at Birth and generally describes people born with a vagina. AMAB stands for Assigned Male at Birth and usually describes people born with a penis.
  • Pronouns: Pronouns are the way we refer to people in the third person. Each person decides their pronouns. Some commonly used pronouns are:

Some people like to stick to one set of pronouns, others use multiple pronouns and some people don’t use pronouns. You can’t know someone’s pronouns by looking at them, so ask when you meet them.

TransGender Symbol Color
Creator RU, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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