In July 2016, Gender Identity and Gender Expression were included as protected grounds with the passing of Bill 27 Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016. The expanded protected grounds bring important protections and visibility for those who face discrimination and harassment based on their gender identity and expression.
Inclusive laws, legislation, statements, and policies are important steps to fair and equal treatment in working, learning and living environments. November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize those who have been murdered because of transphobia, and to raise the visibility of the continued violence endured by transgender, two spirit and gender non-conforming people. We must remain vigilant and aware there are still many people who will lose their lives, who will be bullied and harassed because they did not fit into the strict and narrow social constructions of man and woman.
To make Transgender Day of Remembrance more meaningful for our campus community, we direct your attention to the continued experience of violence and risks by trans and gender non-conforming people, including our students, staff and faculty. Consider the following highlights from recent Canadian research:
- A (2015) national survey of 923 transgender people between the ages of 14 and 25 found a third of those under the age of 18 had been physically threatened or injured, two-thirds of respondents had harmed themselves in the past year, more than one-third had attempted suicide (Veale J, et al., 2015).
- 70% of respondents reported sexual harassment; with nearly half reported being cyberbullied.
- According to a 2012 survey of 447 LGBTQ sexual and gender minority student, staff and faculty members across 21 Ontario public universities, trans-identified and gender non-conforming respondents were significantly less likely than their LGBQ counterparts to feel comfortable on campus, in their department or in the classroom. (Tate, J. 2014)
- In a 2010 survey of 433 trans Ontarians, 16 year or older receiving health care, 98% of respondents reported at least one experience of transphobia, including 26% who experienced physical violence and 24% who were harassed by police. The impact of transphobia, violence and police harassment has led to increased risk of depression and lowered sense of wellbeing .
- Gender based violence disproportionately impacts Indigenous two spirit and trans women. Little known fact, two Indigenous trans women, Rose Osborne and Divas Boulanger from Manitoba, were brutally murdered because of their intersectional identities. Both women’s stories can be found on It Starts With Us, an online community-led database that supports missing and murdered women.
At UBC, we recognize violence against transgender, two spirit and gender non-conforming people is an ongoing reality. We need more visible allies on campus.
Below is a list of events between November 17 and November 21 on campus. We encourage everyone to take part.
Sunday, November 20th
We encourage you to attend the Vancouver TDoR Memorial in Carnegie Community Centre, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Events At UBC – Monday, November 21st
Intra Trans Solidary Discussion
3-4:30, NEST. room 2504
Open to all folks who identify under the umbrella terms of transgender and/or gender non-conforming, or who are questioning.
This will be a space for non-cisgender identified folks to discuss solidarity and TDoR, facilitated by The Pride Collective.
Trans Allyship Discussion
3-4:30, NEST room 2506
Open to both trans/gender non-conforming folks and allies.
This will be a space to discuss the ways to ally ourselves against transphobia, facilitated by the SASC.
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil and open mic, 5:00-7pm. NEST (The Hatch Art Gallery)