Transgender Awareness Week

November 15, 2022 - Defence Stories

Transgender Awareness Week is observed annually from November 13-19 and leads up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20—a day to memorialize victims of transphobic violence. November 20 was originally a vigil to honour Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in 1998. Now this day represents a time to honour those lives lost to transphobic violence every year. The Defence Team is encouraged to use this week to foster awareness about the experiences of trans and gender diverse people, learn more about inclusion, and to honour lives lost to transphobic violence.

Every member of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence is entitled to work in an environment of mutual respect, dignity, and inclusion, where they have the opportunity to contribute and belong. Being an inclusive organization for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other sexual and gender diverse (2SLGBTQI+) people means truly understanding the needs and challenges of our trans and gender diverse colleagues, and implementing practices and policies that address them. The first step in achieving this is to be an 2SLGBTQI+ ally.

Be an Ally

An ally is someone who actively and consistently supports, stands with and advocates for the 2SLGBTQI+ communities. The best way to be an ally is to listen with an open mind to trans and gender diverse people speaking for themselves. It is our responsibility to treat all people with dignity and promote a healthy and respectful workplace.

We want every member of the Defence Team to feel empowered to bring their authentic selves and diverse perspectives to the workplace. In turn, we all benefit from having access to the broadest possible range of creativity, innovation and talent available. Defence Team members who would like more information and guidance on how to foster the creation of a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone, including members of the 2SLGBTQI+ communities, can reach out to a Positive Space Ambassador or to the Defence Team Advisory Organization (accessible only on the National Defence network). 

The path to allyship is a process of continual learning and reflection. To continue on this path, and to contribute to building an inclusive and diverse Defence Team, make sure to check out the following resources, upcoming events and training opportunities:

References and Resources

Discover how to be an ally to the 2SLGBTQI+ communities with these tips.

Consult Canada’s first Action Plan aiming at advancing rights and equality for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and additional sexually and gender diverse (2SLGBTQI+) people in Canada.

Discover the importance and effects of the 30th anniversary of the ending of the LGBT ban, also known as the LGBT Purge, for the 2SLGBTQI+ communities and the Defence Team in this article written during LGBT History Month.

Learn more about Gender-based Analysis+ tools, trainings, key resources, publications, case studies and research and data.

Read the CF Mil Pers Instruction providing Commanding Officers and transgender CAF members direction and guidance to assist in understanding their respective obligations and responsibilities, and to inform and educate all CAF personnel.

Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) at work for Managers (November 17, 2022)

2 hours | Online Event

This experiential Ask Me Anything event will feature panelists from the 2SLGBTQI+ communities to discuss their personal and lived experiences. Increase your awareness and understanding of the history and issues that are important to the 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

Becoming an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Ally and Agent for Change (INC121)
1 hour | Online Course
This online self-paced course presents strategies for becoming an advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Participants will learn about the key concepts of allyship and how to communicate more inclusively, while gaining awareness of their own values and social perspectives.

Adopting an Inclusive Mindset at Work (INC122)
1 hour | Online Course

This online self-paced course articulates the power of inclusion and identifies best practices for encouraging greater equity, diversity and inclusion in an organization. Participants will learn how to apply inclusive recruitment and hiring principles, and how to commit to making inclusion part of their employee onboarding process.

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