Community comes together on Transgender Day of Remembrance
As advocates mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, those involved in the community say despite improving inclusivity – more needs to be done.
On Saturday, the LGBTQ2S+ community recognized those lost to transphobia.
Cait Glasson, a volunteer with SPECTRUM in Waterloo Region, said deaths in the transgender community seem to be on the rise each year, but they are also being noticed because more people are reporting them.
"This is the day that we remember those of us who've been killed this past year for being [transgender]. And those who've taken their own lives," Glasson said.
Glasson said victims often don't feel worthy of anything better and are willing to put up with harmful relationships and interactions.
"We're not in as powerful of a position to be able to say, you know, 'No, I need to get out of this,'” said Glasson. “We don't necessarily feel like we deserve better.”
The Transgender Flag was raised outside of the Waterloo Region Police Service (WRPS) headquarters to serve as a visual representation that the community is listening and in support.
Glasson worries that most transgender people are still unsure about going to police for help and think they won’t be taken seriously.
"A lot of violence against trans people goes unreported, because people don't feel like they're going to get the backing of the police," Glasson said.
CTV News reached out to WRPS for comment, but did not hear back.
The service posted on its official Twitter account: “We are committed to building a Region where every person is safe and feels safe.”
Glasson said it’s important to recognize the day and bring people together from a community that often struggles to find each other.
"When you're shamed about something, the last thing you want to do is go and hang around with somebody else who's shamed about the same thing," Glasson said.
Those working within the community say businesses can play a part in helping employees feel welcomed by having specific policies that use words like trans, transgender and non-binary.
"Unless someone says specifically, 'I want to know your pronouns, I want to respect those pronouns. We have specifically gender neutral washrooms or trans folks are welcome to use our gendered washrooms,' whatever. That actually tells people we're actually safe. We know what we're talking about," Bella Harris, a coordinator with Guelph Queer Equality. "While they're looking up a company, an organization, a school, anything like that, they say, ‘Okay, they have some understanding what it means to be welcoming.'"
Glasson said transgender people continue to face discrimination in the workplace and the best way the general population can help is by hiring transgender workers.