Trans flag raised at BC legislature to observe Day of Remembrance

Nov 20 2019, 3:42 pm

The transgender flag was raised at the BC legislature today for the first time in history to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“On Nov. 20, we come together to mourn loved ones who have lost their lives because of acts of transphobic violence, harassment and marginalization,” said Premier John Horgan and Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, in a joint statement.

“Trans people, especially trans women of colour, face incredible discrimination in housing, employment and everyday life. Simple things that most of us take for granted, like being able to use the washroom in peace and safety, are too often denied to trans people in our province.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance began in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, who created a vigil to honour the life of Rita Hester, a black transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

According to GLAAD, “the vigil also commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual transgender day of Remembrance.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is now observed across the world.

“Today, we invite British Columbians to remember those who have been killed by transphobia as we raise the transgender flag at the B.C. legislature for the first time in history,” stated Horgan and Dean.

“This moment is long overdue. In a better world, it would be a moment of celebration. But in this world, where so many trans people are hurt and killed for who they are, it is a call to fight for justice for all.”

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