Transcript of Video message from Minister Bardish Chagger on Transgender Day of Remembrance
Video length: 2:41 minutes
[The Honorable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth speaking in a library.]
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance.
We began marking this day in 1999, in response to the brutal killing of Rita Hester, a Black Trans woman.
By marking Trans Day of Remembrance, we grieve the lives of all Trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people who have had their lives taken by individual and systemic acts of violence, hatred, and discrimination.
Unfortunately, we know that such acts of violence continue to affect transgender people, simply for living their lives as their true selves.
Families are shattered.
Dreams are broken.
Transphobia, trans misogyny, and all other form of violence, have no place in Canada.
This is why our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has added gender identity and expression as protected grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Recently, our Government also reintroduced legislation to protect LGBTQ2 Canadians from conversion therapy, including coercive efforts to change a person’s trans identity to cisgender.
In addition, starting next year, trans people will be able to self-identify in the upcoming census. This will provide us more insight into the Trans community in Canada, and allow our Government to better understand and respond to the unique needs of Trans people.
Trans people have long fought for equality and against oppression in our countries. We have yet to rightfully give them the equity and respect they deserve.
Trans youth deserve to grow up in a country where they are safe to be their authentic selves.
We must do better by continuing to condemn all acts of violence against transgender people and by continuing to integrate trans perspectives into Canadian institutions.
Vigils and celebrations will look different this year due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, today we take a pause and recognize the lives of those we have lost as we work together to build a safer and consciously more inclusive Canada.
[The Canada wordmark appears, which has a waving Canadian flag above the last “a” in the word “Canada”.]