An annual awareness day, known as “Trans Day of Visibility,” is observed worldwide with the goal of raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to attain trans justice while also honouring the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming persons. While much has been achieved since the turn of the millennium, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 and the protection of gender expression and identity in the Criminal Code and Canadian Human Rights Act in 2017, there are still issues. For example, transgender people were still more likely to encounter unwanted behaviour at work, online, or in public places in 2018.
In 2020, 259 hate crimes that targeted individuals based on sexual orientation were registered by police. This figure was higher than in past years since comparable data have been available, albeit it did reflect a minor decline from a peak in 2019.
The International Transgender Day of Visibility serves as a reminder that we can all work together to safeguard and advance the human rights of Canadians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or who otherwise use a term that denotes gender or sexual diversity. Regardless of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, all persons have universal and inalienable rights.
For the first time, a gender question was added to the sex at birth question in the 2021 Census of Population. By using a two-step process, Statistics Canada will be able to collect accurate data on the transgender and non-binary community, filling in knowledge gaps about gender diversity in Canada. Statistics Canada will be able to recognize partnerships in which at least one member is transgender or non-binary for the first time thanks to the addition of gender to the 2021 Census. This will give a fuller picture of the increasingly diverse families in Canada.