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Trans Day of Remembrance draws 100 in Vancouver

'We need to embrace and affirm people who are different': marcher

Theo Naven Credit: Sabina Zahn photo

Frigid early-evening temperatures didnt deter a crowd of about 100 transgender people and their allies from turning out for the Vancouver Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Nov 20.

Bearing placards that read End the Hate, I Am Proud 2 B Trans and Educate and Eliminate All Hate,” the crowd embarked on a solemn march from the Carnegie Community Centre at Main and Hastings streets to SFU Harbour Centre to commemorate those who have lost their lives to anti-trans violence.

Xtra spoke to a few of the marchers who came out to honour those who have died. Heres what they had to say:

Theo Naven

Ive been involved in organizing TDOR for five or six years, and I wanted to take a step back and recognize the importance of it from a different perspective — just as a trans person and recognizing the violence that happens.

Ive always watched the Trans Remembrance Day site put up new names on a regular basis, and its always so heart-wrenching to realize that all these people are dying and experiencing extreme violence and not even being recognized or remembered by so many people in the community.

It would be really incredible to see as many people come to a trans day of remembrance as went to spirit [Wear Purple] day.

Shantel Ivits

I think that the amount of violence against trans people in society today is alarming, and this event draws attention to that. Im here because I want to remember and honour the people who passed away. I dont want their deaths to be for nothing. I think its really common for the LGBT community to add T on to everything that they do, but I feel very rarely do they actually acknowledge the T in that acronym. I would like the broader queer community to remember that were not just here to fight homophobia, we also have to fight transphobia. Trans people were there for lesbians and gay people, and we need them to be here for us now.


Bobbi Kozinuk


[Im here] to support my sisters and brothers and other genders of people who suffer violence and suffer trauma because of their


Lisa Salazar


Id never heard of this event until this year, and when I went to the [TDOR] website, it really hit me when I saw the hundreds of names from the previous years and, even this year, of the number of trans people who have been brutally murdered. I felt that even though I have not experienced that kind of hate and persecution, that I needed to come and pay my respects. We need to go beyond tolerance. We say that about a disease, that we can tolerate certain infections. And acceptance is like resignation. Its what we say about death. We need to embrace and affirm people who are different in any way, whether its sexual orientation, how they present, people who are outside of the norm.