November 20 is Trans Day of Remembrance. On this day, PSAC mourns and commemorates the trans, two-spirit and non-binary people who have lost their lives to transphobia.
Transphobia manifests in many forms – physical attacks, anti-trans policies, employment barriers, lack of healthcare or mental health support, discrimination, including the discriminatory invasion of trans bodies and more.
Although Bill C-16 was passed in June 2017 to provide human rights protections for transgender and gender diverse people under the Canadian Human Rights Act, we continue to see a concerted effort to undermine trans and gender diverse identities. We have seen the Ontario government remove ‘gender identity’ from grade school curriculum and only make it available to grade 8 students, the continued use of dead names (former names) of trans and non-binary people by Elections Canada on voter registration cards in this past federal election, and more.
Continued pressure on Statistics Canada is required to ensure the data it collects reflects and represents the realities faced by trans and gender diverse people. Furthermore, we must continue to push the federal government and all employers for gender inclusive washrooms and appropriate signage in workplaces, as PSAC has been doing in discussions at the National Joint Council (NJC).
Although national statistics in Canada are lacking, here are some alarming facts from recent studies:
- According to the Trans PULSE Project, which researches the social determinants of health for transgender and gender diverse individuals in Ontario, 20 per cent of all trans Ontarians had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans, and another 34 per cent had been verbally threatened or harassed (as summarized by Égale);
- The same study found that trans and gender diverse Indigenous persons had an even higher rate of violence: 73 per cent had experienced some form of violence due to transphobia; and
- Globally, 84% of trans people who were murdered in 2017 were racialized
PSAC advocates for the rights of trans and gender diverse people in the workplace. The following are some resources we have created:
- Building Trans-Inclusive Workplaces: a guide and fact sheet, as well as a guide on gender-inclusive washrooms
- A series of videos to promote trans inclusive workplaces, such as ‘Towards Inclusion’.
There is no acceptable place for hate and PSAC will always fight back against transphobia in our workplaces and communities. PSAC rises in solidarity with our trans, non-binary and gender diverse members. Trans rights are human rights!