Unifor Statement on the Trans Day of Remembrance


Unifor unites with a growing movement around the world in acknowledging November 20 as the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR). November 20 is a day of mourning, as our union comes together to recognize those whose lives – overwhelmingly Black trans women and femmes – have been taken due to anti-trans violence.

We mourn the lives lost and stand alongside trans members and their families as they seek to live with the dignity, safety and freedom that we all need and deserve.

Trans rights are human rights. No person should be subject to discrimination, intimidation or violence because of their gender expression or identity.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

Unifor encourages members to include a moment of silence for murdered transgender people at your next online union event or meeting.

Take time to pause and recognize those that have been taken by this violence, and commit to continue to work against transphobia as a union.

Members can also support trans people in the workplace, and at the bargaining table by negotiating gender-natural washrooms, gender-inclusive PPE’s and uniforms, expanded medical benefits including mental health care, and other bargaining priorities in Unifor’s 2019 Collective Bargaining Program.

Unifor invites all trans and gender non-binary members to become involved in their locals and union. Reach out to Sarah McCue, LGBTQ Staff Liaison at pride@unifor.org.