Home • Sexual & Gender Diversity Office   Toggle contrast mode:

Recognizing Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and Trans Awareness Week 2022

The University of Toronto recognizes Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and Trans Awareness Week annually each November. In doing so, we reaffirm our support for trans students, faculty, librarians, and staff within our own community and denounce transphobic discrimination and violence everywhere.

Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience is dedicated to remembering and honouring transgender and nonbinary individuals who have lost their lives due to transphobic violence. It also urges recognition that the full scale, prevalence, and nature of transphobic violence is misrepresented by official statistics circulated in the media each year. A 1998 vigil for Rita Hester, a transgender woman of colour brutally murdered in Boston, MA, is at the core—or more accurately, the heart—of Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience. The desire to honour Rita and to express outrage at ongoing transphobic violence has, over decades, evolved into the international day of recognition marked annually on November 20. 

Trans Awareness Week precedes Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and uses education and celebration to encourage awareness of and advocacy around trans rights and inclusion. The week affirms trans lives and experiences in all their complexity through human stories. In doing so, it shares an aspiration described in a 2018 “Open Letter to Media” penned by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD): “Through learning about our lives, acceptance and understanding can replace fear and violence.”  

The University of Toronto is wholly committed to removing barriers within our institutional policies, practices, and spaces that negatively impact trans and nonbinary students, faculty, librarians, and staff. We do this work in full recognition that these impacts can be uniquely compounded for trans and nonbinary individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized. Please consult Resources & Initiatives for information on new and ongoing initiatives to promote trans-inclusion on our three campuses. The websites of the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Offices at UTM and UTSC offer additional information, including opportunities for connection with 2SLGBTQ+ communities at U of T, such as the employee affinity group QUTE (Queer U of T Employees) and the new Queer and Trans Connections program for 2SLGBTQ+ and questioning students.

Our entire community benefits from a campus culture that affirms everyone’s lived experiences and identities—and everyone has a role in creating and sustaining this culture. Taking part in campus-wide events from November 14 to 18, 2022 to honour Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and Trans Awareness Week is an important expression of this commitment. Please visit the SGDO website and events calendar for full programming details. 

Read the full statement by Kelly Hannah-Moffat, VP, People Strategy, Equity and Culture here.