The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually in Ontario, and around the world, on this day, November 20th. Our union is proud to be part of this worldwide effort that not only honours the memory of those lost due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence but also draws attention to continued need for collective action to end transphobia.
November 20th each year also focuses on the fight transgender people face in their everyday lives and how we can support their ongoing struggle for justice and fairness in society.
CUPE Ontario has always been at the forefront of advocating for Trans rights in the workplace. We have negotiated paid transition leaves and expanded benefit programs that help to cover the needs of those transitioning.
We have been on the forefront of fighting to ensure critical public services, like healthcare, fully address the needs of Trans people.
However, the Ford Conservatives cuts to public services, like healthcare, jeopardize these advancements. Indeed, we recognize that their cuts — which negatively impact all of us, in all of our communities — disproportionately impact equity seekers including Trans folks.
Along with cuts to public services, the Ford Conservatives have actively worked to undo years of achievements in the fight for Trans rights. By choosing to have one of their first acts in government be the cancellation of Ontario’s updated Health & Physical Education Curriculum — which had included built in time to help young people understand issues of gender identity — the Ford Conservatives were clearly targeting the rights and freedoms of Trans people, feeding division and the rising tide of hate against all equality seekers.
CUPE Ontario will never stop pushing back against the Ford Conservatives’ attack on human rights. Just like we will always fight back against transphobia, and the rising tide of hate in our workplaces and our communities.
So today, we take time to remember all the Trans people that we have lost to violence and recommit to the fight to protect our basic human rights.