Fast approaching is the somber and incredibly important day: The Transgender Day of Remembrance: November 20th. Some may ask why this day is so important to honor and respect, especially when many do not experience what being transgender is like or do not understand what transgendered means. Hell, my word-checking software on this computer does not recognize transgendered or transgendering…
So what is transgendered? Transgender is a hugely complex umbrella term which in many cases (but not all) the gender identity one is does not match the assigned sex they were born with. Some identify terms which fall under transgendered for some people include:
Female- Male Transgender
Male- Female Transgender
Transsexual (however, this term is becoming more obsolete)
Transvestite/ Cross-dresser (these are hugely contested terms, and it really depends on an individual persons choice to identify as this AND transgendered. Be leery of using these terms now a days.)
Drag Kings/ Drag Queens (Much like transvestite and cross-dressers, just because you perform in drag does not mean you are automatically trans. Drag Kings and Queens bend gender boundaries and sometimes identify as trans but not always and not always openly.)
AND MANY MORE
Yet that in itself does not express the complexity of transgender identity because one of the most problematic assumptions and aspects of cis-gendered society’s views of transgendered, is that it relies simply on biological difference and the medicalization of experience and genitalia. Essentially, the problematic reliance of mainstream society on if a trans individual is pre or post-op, takes away from the lived reality of trans identified individuals by melting away the person to simply being what their genitalia is or if it is recognizably male or female. I think a big part of this problem is that many people see transgender as meaning trans-itioning, as if they are in the process of being changed or even fixed. Just because some people identify as trans does not mean they still have sex-assignment surgery to do or they are still on hormone. Don’t medicalize their bodies and identifies for the sack of clarification. This hyper-focus on the genitalia of a transgendered identified person is in stark contrast to another huge problem trans identified people face: invisibility.
Invisibility within straight culture (or mainstream culture) but also within GLBT culture. The erasure of trans experience and voice is a big part of why November the 20th should be recognized and honored. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is to celebrate the lives of trans identified individuals who have been killed because of transphobia and to have a national conversation about the invisibility of these people and the marginalization and discrimination they face, simply because they exist.
There are many events happening around Ottawa to mourn and celebrate the lives of trans identified people, taken too soon. Below you will find a list and links.
Ottawa Trans Day of Remembrance- Celebrate, Educate, and Commemorate. HOSTED BY PTS
Novemember 18th- November 20th
“There are few populations in Canada not recognized in Human Rights law and protected by Hate Crimes law. Few still experience the intolerance and violence that transsexual, transgender and gender-queer (trans) people do.
This year, Ottawa trans communities are organizing a weekend-long event to celebrate, educate and commemorate the lives of transsexual, transgender and gender-queer communities – providing an opportunity for people of all trans experiences and backgrounds to get involved and participate.
From November 18 to November 20, you have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with trans people as we raise awareness, encourage dialogue, celebrate our lives and remember our loved and lost ones. We encourage everyone interested in supporting the lives of ALL trans people to join us for this weekend of celebration, education and commemoration.
The weekend of events will include a flag raising, dance party and political meet and greet; and in tradition, the annual Ottawa Trans Day of Remembrance will be observed on November 20 with a vigil at the Human Rights Monument.”
Schedule of events
Sunday, November 20, 2011, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Human Right’s Monument (Elgin and Lisgar)
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011
11:00 am – Hotel de Ville Gatineau City Hall Flag Raising
(25 rue Laurier, Gatineau)
1:00 pm – Ottawa City Hall Flag Raising Ceremony
Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Ave. W.)
Speakers to be confirmed
6:00 pm – Ottawa Police Services Flag Raising Ceremony
Ottawa Police Headquarters (474 Elgin St.)
Speakers to include: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Chief Vern White, Fire Chief John de Hooge, Paramedic Superintendent Paul Morneau and Trans Communuty Members Alex Thompson and Amanda Ryan.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2011
12:30 pm – Ottawa Paramedic Flag Raising Ceremony
Ottawa Paramedic Headquarters (2465 Don Reid Dr.)
2:00 – 4:00 pm – Political Meet and Greet
Ottawa City Hall Councillor’s Lounge
Speakers to include: MPP Yasir Naqvi, MP Randall Garrison, Paramedic Superintendents Paul Morneau and Deanna Schofield, Trans Community Member Jessica Freedman.
10:00 pm – 2:00 am – TDOR and Certain Sort present: The Real T Party!
A dance party to celebrate Ottawa Trans Day of Remembrance.
With CPI and DJ Y’alla! Y’alla!
The Royal Canadian Legion (330 Kent St.)
All ages (bring ID, all those over 19 with valid ID will get bracelets that will allow you to purchase alcohol).
$5 – $15 sliding scale
The front entrance, bathroom and bar/lounge area are all accessible to those using wheelchairs. The dance floor is down two medium steps.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011
7:00 pm – TDOR Candlelight Vigil
Human Right’s Monument (Elgin and Lisgar)
Speakers to Include Trans Community Member Alex Thomas and Volunteers who would like to speak about a friend or family member they have lost.
The vigil will include reading from a list of names of people who have died as a result of transphobic violence and/or suicide. If you would like a friend or loved one included in our list of names, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. We are also looking for speakers who would like to talk about how transphobic violence has affected their lives.
For more information or for media inquiries please contact:
Transgender Day of Remembrance- Non-Profit Organization