Saturday, November 20th, we mark the Trans Day of Remembrance in Canada. We know that trans people at UBC and in broader communities continue to face stigma, discrimination, and violence. Each year, more names are added to the list of those who died as a result of acts of transphobia. And this year, the pandemic continues to exacerbate the already present disparities faced by the trans community.
While a single day is not enough to counteract the ongoing erasure of trans people’s stories and lives, consider this day as a reminder to remember trans lives lost, to reflect on and educate ourselves as to how each one of us can better support trans individuals in our communities, and to consider our contributions to the work that still needs to be done.
With that in mind, I want to also acknowledge the hard work being done by the Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diversity Task Force to better understand and reflect on trans experiences of students, staff, and faculty members and to develop recommendations to build a more trans inclusive university.
Seeing some early findings from last year’s university-wide gender diversity audit survey, I am dismayed that 85 per cent of trans, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse respondents reported experiencing discrimination at UBC. And 76 per cent of trans, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse respondents indicated that UBC needs to do more to ensure their safety and inclusion.
I hear you – we need to do better.
When the final task force report gets released in early 2022, I look forward to bringing greater visibility to trans experiences and working to implement proposed recommendations towards greater inclusion of trans community members at UBC. Thank you to the members of the task force on their commitment and investment in this work.
In the meantime, I urge you to take time to learn about trans experiences and ways that you can take action to support trans inclusion. To get started, visit events.ubc.ca to learn about ways to honour this day and to access resources for trans community members and allies.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor