Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

“Transgender and gender-expansive people are valued members of our communities. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and enjoy full equality of rights and freedom from discrimination, harassment, and violence.” ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (20 Nov. 2019) ― November 20 marks the 20th anniversary of Transgender Day of Remembrance which honours those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence.

The first Transgender Day of Remembrance occurred in 1999 to honour Rita Hester, a black transgender woman, who was murdered in 1998 just two days before her 35th birthday. It also served as a vigil to remember all the transgender lives lost to violence in the year since Hester’s death. Vigils honouring transgender members of our community who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence take place across Canada every November 20. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) encourages their members to attend a vigil in their area.

Anti-transgender violence in Canada

The last report published by Statistics Canada on police-reported hate crimes lumps crimes motivated by "sex" into “other motivation”. This is problematic in two ways, as it fails to report an accurate number of hate crimes against the transgender community and it fails to differentiate between sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and gender expression.

NUPGE produces new research aimed at inclusivity

To do our part in continuing to advocate for transgender and gender-expansive rights and to educate our members and the general public about transgender and gender-expansive people, NUPGE has published new research in the Diversity and Inclusion in Our Unions series.

Transgender and Gender-Expansive Rights Are Human Rights gives an overview of the legal safeguards protecting gender identity and gender expression in Canada, statistics on transphobia and mental health, and transphobia in institutions. It also lays the foundation for the next steps NUPGE and its Components can take to reduce the stigma around gender identity and expression, and make Canada a safer place for transgender and gender-expansive people.

You can download Transgender and Gender-Expansive Rights Are Human Rights and keep up with all publications in the Diversity and Inclusion in Our Unions series on


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE