International Transgender Day of Visibility
Today, March 31, marks the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). This day celebrates our friends, family, colleagues and neighbours in the transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities, and raises awareness of challenges, including transphobia and discrimination faced daily by transgender people in Canada and around the world.
As we celebrate TDOV, we acknowledge the struggles and sacrifices of those in the transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities who have fought to exist in a world where they are acknowledged, respected, and valued as they live authentically as their true identities.
Though generations of struggle, courage and activism have brought the transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities closer to equitable treatment in society, studies have shown that Transgender Canadians are still more likely to experience violent victimization and unwanted sexual behaviours than their cisgender peers. Transgender Canadians are more likely to report poor or fair mental health and suicidal thoughts, and to use substances to cope with lifetime experiences of abuse or violence.
HWDSB is committed to creating safer and more inclusive learning environments and working cultures where everyone can belong and exist as the true, authentic versions of themselves. We can support HWDSB’s transgender and non-binary and gender diverse students, families and colleagues through affirmation, empowerment, awareness and allyship.
Gender identity and expression are important to well-being and are often factors in targeted harassment and discrimination in our schools and communities. We can foster well-being by actively confronting transphobic behaviour, calling out transphobia by name and supporting individuals impacted. During this day and others, please take the time to educate yourself and your students about diverse gender identities and the different identities of people that our HWDSB communities hold.
Many of HWDSB staff and students in the transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities have been instrumental in promoting change, through developing and delivering learning to peers, starting Positive Space groups and other peer support groups, working on policies and procedures, and other work to increase safety and inclusion within our schools and board buildings. Let’s set an example to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their identities, can feel confident in their safety and know that they are valued and cared for.
As we celebrate TDOV, let us take time to acknowledge the accomplishments of transgender people both in Canada and around the world, and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done to achieve equity and justice for our students, colleagues and communities.
Transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people are valued members of our community. Alongside these communities and others, we all have a role to play in creating better, safer and more inclusive spaces at HWDSB, so that everyone can live their lives as their true, authentic selves.
Resources and Supports
- HWDSB – Factsheets: Transgender, Non-Binary, and Diverse Gender Identities
- HWDSB – Transcend: Virtual Social and Support Group for Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming and Gender Questioning Students
- HWDSB – Support for Families of Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Confirming and Gender Questioning Students
- Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line – confidential, non-judgmental, and informed peer support. 1 (800) 268-9688 / Text: 647-694-4275
- Speqtrum Hamilton – offers peer supports and community building for Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ youth. Confidential Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trans Lifeline’s Hotline – a peer support phone service run by transgender people for transgender and questioning peers. 1-877-330-6366.