QueerEvents.ca - Queer Culture - Trans day of visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility

Tuesday March 31st, 2020

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) occurs every year on March 31st. This day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people, their contributions to society and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

The day was founded by US transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT recognition of transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourned the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.

Read on to find more fun facts, interesting bits of history about Trans people in Canada and their contributions as well as helpful information to raise awareness and education about our trans community.

Notable Dates

  • March 31st - International Transgender Day of Visibility TDOV)
  • May 17th - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT)
  • 3rd Wednesday of October - International Pronouns Day
  • 1st Sunday in November - Trans Parent Day
  • 2nd Week of November - Transgender Awareness Week
  • November 20 - Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR)

Individuals Empowering Our Community

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Julie Lemieux image

Julie Lemieux

On November 5th 2017, Julie Lemieux won 48% of the vote to become Mayor of Très-Saint-Rédempteur, a municipality in the Montérégie region of Quebec.

This marked the first time an openly transgender person was elected as mayor in any municipality across Canada and the first female mayor in the history of Très-Saint-Rédempteur.

“[My win] wasn’t the start of a movement, but the result of years of work by many to build tolerance in communities across the country.”[...] We're writing history and I have a lot to offer." - Julie Lemieux

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Kael McKenzie image

Kael McKenzie

Kael McKenzie (born 1971) is appointed to the Provincial Court of Manitoba making him the first transgender person appointed as a judge in Canada.

"I didn’t set out to be a trailblazer or to try to have courage. It just happened that way."

Kael McKenzie

He is a member of the Manitoba Métis Nation and has also served as the Manitoba chair of the Canadian Bar Association, and president of the provincial Rainbow Resource Centre for Manitoba's LGBT2Q+ community.

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - viviane namaste image

Viviane Namaste

Viviane Namaste is a professor at Concordia University. In 2001 she received the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for her book entitled, Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. Namaste was also a director in the documentary Madame Lauraine's Transsexual Touch which deals with transsexual sex workers as well as sexual health and clientele. In 2009, she was awarded the "Canadian Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights", which is awarded jointly by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Human Rights Watch.

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Alexandre Baril image

Alexandre Baril

Alexandre Baril was the first Francophone trans person in Canadian history to be employed as a professor specializing in trans studies to teach on sexual and gender diversity in French.

In 2011, Baril received the Lana St-Cyr Award from the Aide aux transsexuels et transsexuelles du Québec (ATQ) in recognition of the major role he played in organizing the first trans protest in Quebec history on June 17, 2010, in Montreal. Baril is described as one of the first trans researchers in Canada to publish work on trans issues from a transactivist perspective in the French language

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Jessica Platt image

Jessica Platt

Jessica Platt is a professional ice hockey player. She plays for the Toronto Furies in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and was the first transgender woman to play in the CWHL. Platt was the first professional female hockey player to come out as a transgender woman, and the second player in the professional women's hockey league to come out as transgender.

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Jamie Lee Hamilton image

Jamie Lee Hamilton

Jamie Lee Hamilton became the first openly transgender person to run for political office in Canada when she ran for Vancouver City Council in 1996. She also participated in Vancouver’s first Pride march. A community activist, Hamilton spent her life fighting on behalf of vulnerable populations. She was one of the first to ring the alarm bell to police and media about women going missing, and being murdered, from the city’s Downtown Eastside. Hamilton also served as a director of the Vancouver Pride Society and the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society.

QueerEvents.ca - notable indviduals - Rupert Raj image

Rupert Raj

Rupert Raj has a long history of working towards trans rights in Canada. Amongst his many accomplishments, he has founded three transgender publications including Canada’s first national transgender publication 'Gender Review'. He is also the founder of several trans organizations including the Association for Canadian Transsexuals (A.C.T.) in the late-1970s, when living in Vancouver, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT) in 1978 while living in Calgary as a lobbying and educational organization on behalf of trans people. In June 1999 he co-founded a peer-support group for transsexual men and transsexual women at the 519 Community…

QueerEvents.ca - Notable QIPOC - Syrus Marcus Ware

Syrus Marcus Ware

Syrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is currently a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre).

As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. Syrus is part of the Black Triangle Arts Collective (BTAC), a visual arts collective dedicated to exploring disability, racial and economic justice.

Syrus has co-edited a book…

QueerEvents.ca - Notable QIPOC - Monica Forrester

Monica Forrester

Monica Forrester is a Program and Outreach co-ordinator for Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project. Since 1999, she has worked in various agencies to educate and make services accessible for trans* folks. She actively works to promote awareness and visibility of trans women. From living and working on the streets to being  instrumental in creating a drop-in and an outreach program for transpeople at the 519 to her current work as a program coordinator for Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, Forrester has long advocated for transgender people in Toronto. She was also part of advocating for trans women to be allowed into women’s shelters and in…

QueerEvents.ca - Notable QIPOC - Nik Redman

Nik Redman

Nik Redman is an artist, activist and community worker who was born in Montreal, Canada. Nik grew up in both Barbados and Canada.

He is a member of the GBQ Trans Men’s’ Working Group, part of Ontario Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance; the MaBwana Community Advisory Committee, the Prisoners Justice Action Committee (PJAC) and the Trans Fathers 2B Parenting Course Project Team. Nik was one of the online facilitators for the province-wide HIV/AIDS-themed Stigma campaign. Nik currently works as a Grievance Officer with the University of Toronto’s Local 1998 United Steelworkers Union. In addition, he works doing Anti-Harassment and Human Rights Training for the…

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