Barrie Honours Trans Day of Remembrance

mourn the dead, fight for the living

Earlier this evening, members of the community gathered at City Hall to honour Trans Day of Remembrance, a day that has been marked every November 20th since 1999.

Jeff Lehman holds up the Transgender Flag, along with featured speakers and members of the community.

This day has been established as a way to memorialize those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

At today’s event, a number of speakers from the Barrie Pride, Borden Pride, and Trans Q community spoke about their own personal experiences and what this day means. Some talked about about how far we have come as a community in regards to trans acceptance, but also how far we have to go.

Many positive images have been shared online today such as this one, symbolizing unity and acceptance for trans people of all colour.

Caleb, a member of Trans Q, shared a number of shocking statistics that show just how important today is. Some of these statistics include:

  • 369 people have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence since Oct 2017
  • The suicide rate for the trans community is 25 times higher than the rest of the population when there’s no support
  • 43% of trans people have attempted suicide
  • Trans people are 12 times more likely to be murdered

Although these numbers are shocking, Caleb followed them up with a message of hope saying:

“The way to fix these numbers is to educate other people, to let other people know that this is going on, to raise awareness and to make transness something that is not seen as other. To normalize transness is to reduce the risk that trans people have in day to day life.”

City of Barrie’s Mayor, Jeff Lehman, spoke out about how upsetting it is to know about the harsh realities trans people are still facing today. He explained that raising the flag today was not only to recognize the lives that have been lost but also to help raise awareness in the city.


After the flag was raised, those who attended did an honourary march along Dunlop street, followed by a vigil at Drors and The Gilbert Center.

A community march followed today’s flag raising ceremony.