The founder reflects on the International Transgender Day of Visibility

On this international transgender Visibility Day Rachel Crandall-Crocker takes a moment to reflect on the day she created.

“I made it so we wouldn’t have to be lonely anymore. And yet we could all be in this world together,” Crandall-Crocker said.

In 2009, Crandall-Crocker founded the day to celebrate and raise awareness of the existence of trans people discrimination the community faces.

“Many trans people have been taught to be ashamed of who they are and not to be visible. And to hide it. And I say, and I said in 2009, we don’t have to be ashamed anymore. We don’t have to hide it anymore.”

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Toronto PFLAG President Anne Creighton said she has seen a significant shift in the parents who support her.

“Over the past 10 years, PFLAG has experienced a seismic shift in its meetings. Almost every family that comes to us for help now has a trans child,” Creighton said.

Despite the day’s celebrations, Creighton highlighted important issues and experiences transgender people are going through.

“The hormones they take are not covered by any medication plan unless you have one through your employer. That’s a different issue. Trans people have a hard time finding work,” Creighton said.

“You need housing. You need help with hormones. You need jobs. And they need us to be kinder to them. That’s the most important.”

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This view was shared by Canada’s Minister for Women, Equality and Youth, Marci Ien.

“Transgender and non-binary people continue to experience significant differences, including negative mental health effects, unemployment, homelessness, harassment and bullying, and they are often victims of violence simply for being themselves,” she said in a statement.

“We also know that Indigenous, Black, racialized people and people with disabilities experience an additional layer of injustice. This is unacceptable and we must do better,” added the MP.

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On Thursday, the Ontario government announced it is investing over $800,000 in the child welfare system for LGBTQ+ youth.

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“Our government recognizes that more needs to be done to improve outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer children and youth in our child welfare system. This investment will help develop new services and supports to address the specific needs of LGBT2SQ children and young people in care,” said Jane McKenna, Deputy Minister for Children and Women’s Affairs.

The money will go to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) to fund initiatives including expanding travel to inclusive and gender-sensitive camps and staff training.

“We recognize that we need to better understand the lived experiences of LGBT2SQ children and youth involved in the child welfare system from an intersectional perspective in order to improve outcomes. This funding will provide critical support to young LGBT2SQ Ontarians, their families and the children’s charities who work with them,” said Nicole Bonnie, Chief Executive Officer of OACAS.

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But 13 years later, Crandall-Crocker is amazed at the support around the world, including support in countries that criminalize LGBTQ2 people.

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“When I started it, I never really expected it to be really all over the world,” she said.

with files from Katrina Ramlochan and Trevor Popoff

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. The founder reflects on the International Transgender Day of Visibility

Brian Lowry

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