For the first time, Toronto Police observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance with the raising of the Trans Flag at police headquarters on November 20.
The day is set aside to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the Transgender community.
Acting Chief Jim Ramer joined fellow officers and members of the LBGTQ community at the ceremony.
“We are here to remember the Trans lives that have been lost to violence,” he said. “These lives were lost, senselessly, simply because of who they were as people. It is their memory and their lives that we honour today. We are also here to celebrate those who are still with us, those whose lives are just as valuable as everyone else but who, because of the imbalance that exists in our society, fight every single day to be heard, respected and protected.”
Ramer promised the community that they are heard and protected at Toronto Police.
The Service’s LBGTQ community consultative committee Co-Chair Christine Newman said November 20 is a very important day.
“It represents 35 years of my work in the community fighting for rights, fighting for equality and fighting to be recognized,” she said. “It is also the result of six years of Danielle (Bottineau) and I working shoulder to shoulder. I, myself, am no stranger to the need to stand up for equal rights and the right to simply exist, which 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 everyday.”
Newman and Bottineau raised the flag.
“We need to recognize that many Trans members across the world have lost their lives as a result of transphobia and many continue to face discrimination and violence daily,” said Bottineau.