Statement by Minister Marci Ien on Transgender Day of Remembrance 


Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, today issued the following statement:

“Her name was Rita Hester. She was a Black transgender woman who was brutally murdered in her own apartment and still today her case remains unsolved. Her tragic death spurred the creation of the Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1999. 

On November 20th each year, people around the world remember and honour the life of Rita Hester and all Trans, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse people who have lost their lives due to anti-trans violence.

 It is a day to mourn those who might otherwise be forgotten. A day to stand up against discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, including racism against Black, Indigenous, and racialized Trans and gender diverse people.

More than 20 years later, Trans and non-binary communities continue to face harassment and violence in their daily lives and misinformation about these communities is on the rise. This harsh reality reminds us that we all must protect Trans rights, promote inclusion, and expand protections related to gender identity. Further, the Government of Canada is focused on protecting Canadians from the harmful practice of conversion therapy and the development and implementation of Canada’s first-ever LGBTQ2 Action Plan, because we know that when everyone is included, our communities are stronger.

As Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I encourage everyone to reflect on injustices towards trans communities and think about we how we can build a more inclusive future.” 

Associated Links


Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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