As you may know, the Transgender Day of Remembrance is an international observance on November 20 to honour those who have been lost due to transphobic violence, and to recommit to taking action to protect those who are vulnerable. Ceremonies and vigils are a tradition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance; some will be in-person, and others will be held virtually.
It should give us pause to know that 73% of gender-diverse and two-spirit people report experiencing violence due to transphobia; physical, emotional, sexual or spiritual. In just the past year, over 400 trans and gender-diverse people have lost their lives due to interpersonal and systemic transphobia and bigotry, including one individual in Canada and nearly seventy in the United States (the second highest reported country). The majority of transgender victims are misgendered in police and media reports of their deaths.
As Anglicans, we are called to transform unjust structures of society, and challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation. This year some in our diocese will be taking part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which was first launched by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. As we prepare to engage in the 16 days of action, I invite you to pause on November 20 to consider those whose gender diversity has been a source of pain, violence and hate.
If you are interested in resources for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Proud Anglicans of Huron has produced liturgical resources for the Trans Day of Remembrance. There are a number of helpful suggestions and resources in the package of material. I hope parishes around the diocese will use this day to begin or continue to find ways to remove the barriers to participation in our community life as the body of Christ. This is Faith in Action.
Some parishes in our diocese now have the Progress Pride flag (shown above) on their websites, social media accounts, print publications and on the exterior of their buildings as an outward and visible sign that they are a community working to be truly welcoming to all they meet. This simple gesture, when accompanied by a significant engagement in this work of radical hospitality, can make all the difference to someone seeking a safe faith community to join. I commend those parishes that are making strong commitments towards this level of inclusion. Learn more about the LGBTIQ community flags here.
If your parish wants to commit more deeply to the work of welcoming individuals or you know of resource people who can assist us in these efforts, please reach out to my office so we can continue this work in 2022.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to learning and growing together. In all of our efforts may we live more deeply into our shared vision for renewed hearts, renewed spirits, renewed people of these Islands and Inlets.
The Right Rev Anna Greenwood-Lee
Download a printable copy of this letter below.