Transgender and nonbinary folks were in the spotlight outside the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
That's because for the first time in history, the trans flag was raised on the grounds of the B.C. legislature.
It occurred on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which has been held on November 20 every year since 1999.
The flag remains at half-mast to commemorate those who've lost their lives due to transphobic and gender-based violence.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was launched by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to pay homage to Rita Hester, a transgender woman murdered in 1998 in Allston, Massachusetts.
A website lists trans victims of violence in various countries over the previous year.
In Vancouver, there's a Trans Day of Remembrance March and Memorial later today. It will begin with a sign-making party at 4:30 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre.
That will be followed with a march at 5:30 p.m. along Hastings Street to the Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside. At this location, there will be acknowledgement of being on unceded Indigenous territory, some history and context, a reading of names, and an open-microphone session for people to share thoughts and stories.
Today in the B.C. legislature, B.C. Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and Dean each delivered messages of support to the trans community. You can read their speeches below.
"Yesterday I had the privilege to welcome some important guests to the Legislature. After many years of hard work, Gina Hole Lazarowich, joined by the subjects of her documentary, presented her film to members of the House. Gina is a constituent, but she's also a successful producer and film-maker.
"Her latest project, Krow's TRANSformation, is premiering tonight on OUTtv. It follows the three-year journey of a former teen model into his true, authentic self. After six years as a globe-trotting female fashion model, Krow embarked on the journey towards physically becoming a man at the age of 18. Throughout the documentary, which has received international acclaim, we not only witness Krow's physical changes; we also witness some of the heartbreaking interviews with his friends and family to see how his transition impacted those close to him.
"I was honoured to participate in the film Krow's TRANSformation, an important documentary not only showcasing Krow's journey through transition but also the importance of empathy towards others. Man, woman or however you identify, we are all human at the end of the day.
"Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, where we are encouraged to pause and reflect on the many hurdles people in the transgender community face as they attempt to lead their everyday lives with their families, at their workplaces or in their communities.
"I thank Gina, Krow, Kas Baker, Ashton Sciacallo, Nancy Van Neste-Baker, Michael Baker and Lisa Jacobsen for joining us last night to view many hurdles people in the transgender community face as they attempt to lead their everyday lives, with their families, at their workplaces or in their communities.
"I thank Gina, Krow, Kas Baker, Ashton Sciacallo, Nancy Van Neste-Baker, Michael Baker and Lisa Jacobsen for joining us last night to view the film. Hopefully, documentaries such as this can help reduce stigma, make us understand and promote inclusivity and empathy for all transgendered people and their families."
"Across the world, over the past year, 300 trans and gender-diverse people were murdered. Most were trans women of colour, their average age just 31. They're sisters, daughters, aunties and friends of ours and people in our neighbourhoods. They had jobs and careers, ran businesses, and many of them worked in the sex industry.
"November 20, today, is a day when we honour the memory of those innocent lives lost due to transphobia. Every day trans and gender-diverse people are victims of horrifying hate violence, including extortion, physical and sexual assaults and murder. This violence and the discrimination against trans and gender-diverse people perpetuates an ongoing cycle of oppression. It is made worse with other oppression such as racism, sexism, xenophobia and anti–sex worker sentiment and discrimination.
"Every day, and especially on days like today, I stand firm with my colleagues in our commitment to continue the fight to end gender-based violence. We reaffirm our commitment for fighting for a better world, where the acceptance of self-expression and gender identity isn't up for debate—a world with equal opportunities, safety and the freedom to be who we are.
"Today I was so proud to be joined by colleagues and transgender people and allies and raise the transgender flag at the B.C. legislature for the first time in history, a moment that is long overdue. We stand with trans people in B.C. and around the world and commit to a better society—one that is safe and truly inclusive for all."