This Transgender Day of Remembrance, let’s work toward inclusiveness
November 19, 2021 - Defence Stories
The Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO) recognizes International Transgender Day of Remembrance in recognition of all victims of Transphobia. The goal of this day is to bring awareness to the violence that Trans and gender-diverse people face every day and to remind ourselves that we can be allies in many ways. We need your solidarity to end transphobic violence and discrimination.
Being an ally is an ongoing process. According to Corporal Vincent-Gabriel Lamarre, “Transgender Day of Remembrance is key to shifting public opinion on Transgender people in the CAF. On November 20, let’s talk about how we can create an accepting work environment for Trans people and acknowledge the injustices they have faced.” He asks that we, “Show [our] solidarity and be open minded for the occasion.”
With the support of his family and military hierarchy, Corporal Lamarre began his gender transition a few years ago. He has openly shared his experiences, offering us a glimpse into the realities that Trans people face every day. You can watch the documentary Ti-Gars by Doris Buttignol, and visit Ti-gars | Ti-gars | ICI TOU.TV (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) to learn more.
Respecting an individual’s pronouns and gender identity is an important first step toward being an ally. According to Corporal Lamarre, “Being a Trans person means living in a world where physical appearance and gender expression are continuously judged and analyzed. People will label you based on what they see and this can be really harmful to some people”.
It’s also worth noting that micro-aggressions impact Trans people significantly. Micro-aggressions are forms of prejudice experienced in either verbal communication or through subtle physical gestures. They are often expressed without intended malice, however they can make the other person feel rejected and can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. For example, you know may not know that “False compliments are in fact micro-aggressions” (Corporal Lamarre). For example, “You look like a ‘real’ woman” or “you’re pretty good-looking for a Trans person.” Respect for Trans people shouldn’t depend on conformity or adherence to societal norms.
Here are some concrete actions you can take to better support Trans people:
- Unsure of which pronouns to use? Just ask, and then use those pronouns from that point onward and encourage others to do the same.
- It is normal to make mistakes, so when you do, correct yourself and move forward.
- Remember: Trans and gender-diverse people don’t have to look a certain way. Some Trans and gender-diverse people live their lives without people around them knowing how they identify.
- Keep in mind that Trans identity does not depend on medical transition. For example, some people transition socially by changing their name, pronouns, and clothes and not by taking hormones or having operations.
- Trans identity and acceptance does not depend on “how much” a person has transitioned or how far they have gone medically, socially, or legally with their transition.
- Use inclusive language. Rather than saying “ladies and gentlemen” opt for a more inclusive “hello everyone” or a simple “hello.”
Thank you for reading. Learning about Trans people’s experiences is an important part of being an ally. If you want to learn more, Corporal Lamarre regularly holds conferences dedicated to improving knowledge about the LGBTQ community. Through his conferences, he stresses the importance of mental health and physical wellbeing. If you have any questions about upcoming conferences that Defence Team members may attend, contact
Within the Defence Team, several colleagues are dedicated to actively working towards a safer, more inclusive and respectful environment for everyone.
You are invited to assist the efforts of the Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO) to improve diversity and inclusivity in the organization. We are looking for a Civilian Co-chair to occupy the position for a minimum of 2 years.
If you have any questions or want to get involved, get in touch with us at
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