Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR)


Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is observed annually and internationally on November 20 to honour the memory of the trans people who have lost their lives as a result of transphobic violence that year.

Trans and nonbinary people continue to face marginalization and discrimination in the form of transphobia. This can manifest as negative attitudes and beliefs about trans people, irrational fears and misunderstandings, a disbelief or discounting of a person’s pronouns or their gender identity, derogatory language and name-calling, and bullying, abuse, and violence. The stigma of transphobia can also create barriers for trans and nonbinary people’s access to and inclusion in services, resources and communities. It is our collective responsibility to work to reduce these barriers. At the University of Toronto, we are committed to challenging marginalization and discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

Trans Day of Remembrance was first observed in 1998 by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith who hosted a vigil in memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who had been killed that year. The vigil became a commemoration of all of the trans lives lost that year to violence and has since become an annual event.

The week before Nov 20 is also Transgender Awareness Week, which aims to increase awareness, visibility and knowledge of trans people and the issues faced by members of trans communities. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the lives of trans and nonbinary people and the contributions they have made.

How do we create more trans-inclusive campus communities? 

  1. Adopt more inclusive language. Respect and use people’s names and pronouns and find other ways to speak in gender-inclusive ways.
  2. Speak Up. Address discriminatory comments or behaviours when they arise.
  3. Get Educated. Have you read any books by trans and nonbinary authors or books that help you think about trans-inclusion? Check out this recommended reading list to get started.
  4. Participate. University of Toronto community members are invited to participate in Trans Day of Remembrance in one of a few ways. Details below.


  • This banner is inspired by NewPRIDE’s #TransIsBeautiful banner, which folks have been signing at various events over the past two years. We wanted to keep the tradition this year by gathering words of affirmation online for trans and nonbinary folks: words of love, strength, support, and joy. This digital banner is inspired by the quote, “give us our roses while we’re still here.” Each affirmation we collected is written on a gift tag attached to a flower. Click on the image below to download the banner!


The Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) events offered on November 20, 2020 were collaboratively hosted by Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO), Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre (SVPSC), UTM Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office (UTM EDIO), UTSC Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office (UTSC EDIO), UTM Women & Gender Equity Centre (WGEC), UTM Students’ Union (UTMSU), and UTSC Women’s & Trans Centre (UTSC WTC).


  • We invite you to continue U of T’s tradition of crafting origami flowers on Trans Day of Remembrance. This tradition was created by students from the University of Toronto Students’ Union, and LGBTOUT. Folks from these student organizations and the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office collaboratively organized TDoR origami folding events which have been opportunities for trans and nonbinary folks and allies to be with one another. This activity gave engaged attendees in creating something out of love and care, on a day that can feel so difficult and emotionally defeating. Making these flowers was symbolic: they memorialized lives lost, but creating them together, was an act of trans community building and resilience. We were glad to be able to do this together at the “U of T Trans Day of Remembrance: Coming Together in Solidarity” event on November 20, 2020.
  • Check out our Origami Lotus Folding Instructional Video (created by Trick and Mar!) as well as the step-by-step PDF guide.
  • If you upload photos of your flowers on Instagram or Twitter, tag us @UofTSGDO!


  • Send in words of affirmation, love and support for trans and nonbinary folks. These messages will be compiled onto a digital banner that will be shared after TDoR:
    email your messages, or comment on our TDoR banner Instagram post or Instagram stories
  • Download Trans Day of Remembrance icons for Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Microsoft Teams:






  • Download Trans Day of Remembrance Zoom backgrounds:







Learn more. Have you read any books by trans and nonbinary authors? Or books that help you think about trans-inclusion? Here’s a short list to get you started: 

  • I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
    This nonfiction work explores the imposition of and reimagining of gender in the 21st Century.  
  • Gender Failure by Rae Spoon and Ivan E. Coyote
    The two authors the gender binary and their failed attempts at fitting into it, revealing the ways in which traditional gender roles and fail all of us. 
  • Gender: Your Guide by Lee Airton
    An accessible guide for understanding and engaging with gender, in a gender-friendly way, in everyday language. 
  • 47,000 Beads by Koja and Angel Adeyoha
    A children’s book about a young person who loves to dance at pow wow but who isn’t comfortable wearing a dress anymore. A family member helps to get the young person what they need to rejoin pow wow. 
  • What Makes A Baby by Cory Silverberg
    This children’s book is for ALL kinds of family configurations about where babies come from and that is broad and inclusive in its language and explanations. The website for the book also includes a free reader’s guide or you can listen to the author read the book