Trans Day of Remembrance

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


51 Division

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed on November 20 to commemorate those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the Transgender community.

The Trans Flag was raised at 51 Division at Parliament and Front Sts. by Toronto Police members and the community.

“As I understand it, we are one of the first police stations in North America to raise the flag on this day and that is something we plan to continue to do because, unfortunately, the trans and gender non-conforming community still face a lot of stigma and violence,” said Sergeant Henry Dyck.

Over 321 Trans people were murdered globally in the last 12 months ending September, 2023 according to Transgender Europe.

“That is why a day like today is so very important to us. We want to recognize that that violence and stigma is something that is ongoing and we need to break down,” said Dyck. “We need to help and support our Trans people so that that stigma and violence can come to an end.”

It is the fifth year for the flag-raising ceremony at the Division.

“As we talk about the loss of lives this year in the Trans community, it is completely unacceptable. We have to move past people feeling they are not included to have a sense of belonging where everyone belongs and they feel that,” Superintendent Christopher Kirkpatrick said.

“We, the police, make mistakes in this community, but every day, the people in this Division and around the rest of the Service go out with the intent of making the lives of everyone better.”

Sergeant Robert Chevalier is the Service’s 2SLGBTQI+ Liaison Officer said the ceremony is important.

“It is a day that we are thinking about all Trans people around the world and the violence they face. We know the violence they face is very serious and often lead to hospitalizations. It is a serious and sad issue.”

Parking Enforcement Officer Alexander Holder, who joined the Service a year ago, had the honour of hoisting the flag.

“Being a Transgender man, it is important for me to recognize those who have lost their lives,” he said.

Person in parking uniform raising a pink, white and blue flag
Parking Enforcement Officer Alexander Holder raises the Trans flag at 51 Division Photo: Brent Smyth




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