The University of Toronto recognizes Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and Trans Awareness Week annually each November. In doing so, we reaffirm our support for trans students, faculty, librarians, and staff within our own community and denounce transphobic discrimination and violence everywhere.
Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience is dedicated to remembering and honouring transgender and nonbinary individuals who have lost their lives due to transphobic violence. It also urges recognition that the full scale, prevalence, and nature of transphobic violence is misrepresented by official statistics circulated in the media each year. A 1998 vigil for Rita Hester, a transgender woman of colour brutally murdered in Boston, MA, is at the core—or more accurately, the heart—of Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience. The desire to honour Rita and to express outrage at ongoing transphobic violence has, over decades, evolved into the international day of recognition marked annually on November 20.
Trans Awareness Week precedes Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and uses education and celebration to encourage awareness of and advocacy around trans rights and inclusion. The week affirms trans lives and experiences in all their complexity through human stories. In doing so, it shares an aspiration described in a 2018 “Open Letter to Media” penned by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD): “Through learning about our lives, acceptance and understanding can replace fear and violence.”
The University of Toronto is wholly committed to removing barriers within our institutional policies, practices, and spaces that negatively impact trans and nonbinary students, faculty, librarians, and staff. We do this work in full recognition that these impacts can be uniquely compounded for trans and nonbinary individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized. Please consult Resources & Initiatives for information on new and ongoing initiatives to promote trans-inclusion on our three campuses. The websites of the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Offices at UTM and UTSC offer additional information, including opportunities for connection with 2SLGBTQ+ communities at U of T, such as the employee affinity group QUTE (Queer U of T Employees) and the new Queer and Trans Connections program for 2SLGBTQ+ and questioning students.
Our entire community benefits from a campus culture that affirms everyone’s lived experiences and identities—and everyone has a role in creating and sustaining this culture. Taking part in campus-wide events from November 14 to 18, 2022 to honour Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience and Trans Awareness Week is an important expression of this commitment. Please visit the SGDO website and events calendar for full programming details.
Sexual & Gender Diversity Office: The SGDO is a tri-campus equity office that provides innovative education, programming, resources, and advocacy on sexual and gender diversity for students, staff, faculty, and librarians in the U of T community.
Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre: The Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre provides support to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Toronto who have been affected by sexual and gender-based violence.
Community Safety Office: CSO staff are available to provide support to students, staff, faculty, librarians, and community members.
If you are a student who needs immediate support, please call the Health & Wellness Centre at (416) 978-8030 to speak with a counsellor. Counselling is also available through the U of T My Student Support Program (U of T My SSP) 24/7 by calling 1 (844) 451-9700.
Staff and faculty members can access mental health resources and supports through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP). The 24/7 helpline at 1-800-663-1142 provides support for those experiencing grief, stress, and trauma.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office (EDIO) at UTM: The EDIO at UTM is a campus service for all UTM community members (students, staff, faculty, and librarians) that facilitates equity, Indigenous, and human rights-related programming, training, community engagement opportunities, and systemic change initiatives.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office (EDIO) at UTSC: The EDIO at UTSC is a central resource for all UTSC community members (students, staff, and faculty) to provide training, programming, and engagement initiatives related to equity, access, discrimination, and harassment.