British Columbia's premier has invited the province to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.
John Horgan – alongside parliamentary secretary for gender equity Mitzi Dean – said “we need to do better” to help trans people.
"Trans people, especially trans women of colour, face incredible discrimination in housing, employment and everyday life,” the duo said.
“Simple things that most of us take for granted, like being able to use the washroom in peace and safety, are too often denied to trans people in our province.”
They said Nov. 20 is a day when people should come together and mourn “loved ones who lost their lives because of transphobic violence, harassment and marginalization.”
“As individuals, it starts with acknowledging our privilege, confronting our biases and taking personal responsibility for building a BC where trans people are safe, welcome and given the opportunity to succeed,” they explained.
Horgan and Dean added that the BC government is taking steps to make the province “safe and welcoming” for trans people.
That is being done, they said, by:
“Acknowledging and teaching about all gender identities” in schools
Offering a non-binary gender option on government identification
Improving access to “gender-affirming surgeries”
Re-establishing a human rights commission to “fight inequality and discrimination in all its forms”
Their statement concluded: "Today, we invite British Columbians to remember those who have been killed by transphobia as we raise the transgender flag at the B.C. legislature for the first time in history.
"This moment is long overdue. In a better world, it would be a moment of celebration. But in this world, where so many trans people are hurt and killed for who they are, it is a call to fight for justice for all.
"We will not let the bright lives of our trans friends, family members and neighbours be erased from memory. We see you. We honour you. We remember you."