Transgender Awareness Week 2023

Transgender Awareness Week occurs each yea from November 13th-19th. This week, and November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance, work to memorialize victims of transphobic violence.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was originally created as a vigil to honour Rita Hester, a trans woman who was killed in 1998.

Transphobia is still a problem all over the world; we’re endlessly hearing stories of protests, assaults, and even killings of trans people. There have even been recent protests and outrage regarding Drag Queens.

This is why this week is so important. We need to bring awareness to lives, history, and identities of those who have been affected by transphobia.

We need to work to build a better home where people can feel safe to be themselves.

There is no shortage of historical instances of transgender identities, from two-spirit Indigenous identities dating back far before colonization, to ancient Greek Gods, transgender identities have been around for as long as history can remember.

While in Canada we have human rights campaigns and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community now, you may be surprised to learn how recently these things did not exist (and even with them, we still have discrimination throughout Canada).

hands of a person hanging from steel bars


Canada decriminalizes homosexuality

person in white dress shirt holding white paper


The American Psychological Society removed ‘homosexuality’ from its list of mental disorders.

waving canadian flag


New Canadian
Immigration Act removes
homosexuals from list of
banned persons.

man in uniform standing on sidewalk


Ban on homosexuals in the Canadian Forces is lifted.

happy family watching television together


Ontario makes it legal for same-sex couples to jointly apply to adopt children.

a man wearing black clothes showing his back with tattoo


Bill C-33 passes and sexual orientation is added to the Canadian Human Rights Act

women laughing on beach


Bill C-23 expands the
definition of ‘common-law’ to include ‘same-sex’ couples

woman showing paper with prohibition sign


Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finds that “transsexualism” is protected on the basis of sex or disability.

a woman in pink suit jacket holding blue lollipop


Bill C-279 passes, extending human rights protections to transgender and transsexual people in Canada

anonymous tourists showing us passports on street on sunny day


Non-binary individuals are able to have an ‘x’ gender marker on their passports (some provinces still do not allow this on driver’s licenses)

men with adhesive tape over their mouths


Bill C-16 added gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

white and silver chair beside clear drinking glass on glass table


Canada bans ‘conversion therapy’ and makes it a federal offense to practice conversion therapy.

If you’re an ally, we encourage you to ensure you’re being an ally all year round – not just this week or during pride month. Below are some of the ways that you can work to be an effective ally for the trans community.

These pillars of allyship are by no means a complete list, but rather a general guideline that you can use to help you move forward and support the trans community. We encourage you to engage with the community to find out what they need!

Click here for more tips on being an effective ally!

Roots in Wellness has a wealth of different resources available at your disposal:

close up photo of lgbtq letters on a person s hands
close up photo of a stethoscope
man in black sweater sitting on brown wooden chair
black transvestite putting on bodysuit near mirror
a family in the living room
photo of planner and writing materials

If you need help or just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at, or visit our team page.

By Jennifer Lane

Clinical Director, Roots in Wellness

Sex & Gender Therapist

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