The Courier

Saturday November 20, 2021 marks the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). This day is to remember the many transgender people whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence around the world.

TDOR began as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed on November 28, 1998 in her Boston MA home. Her murder has gone unsolved. One year after Rita’s murder, a vigil was organized by advocate and writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honour Rita and all those who had been lost to anti-transgender violence.

The Defence Team Pride Advisory Organisation (DTPAO) has chosen to join in honouring this special day as part of the mandate to continue to advocate for change for the better.

The DTPAO national champion, RAdm Luc Cassivi, released a statement on November 12, 2021 that encourages members of the Defence Team to continue to learn about those in the transgender community. He encouraged people to visit the GLAAD website Tips for Allies of Transgender People | GLAAD “for more information on how to become a more supportive colleague, supervisor, peer, friend and ally to members of the trans community.”

The Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, released a statement via video acknowledging TDOR, the work being done by some DTPAO members, and the work left to do. The Cold Lake DTPAO encourages members to view the video at the following link: Minister of National Defence Video Message for Transgender Awareness Week –

4 Wing is hosting a Positive Space Ambassador Workshop for members of the Defence Team on November 19 as part of our contribution to TDOR. For information on the workshop, please send an email to

As a member of the DTPAO and a Positive Space Ambassador, I have been quite privileged and honoured to see the changes that have gone on throughout our first year. I’m encouraged by inclusive language being adopted around the CAF, by inclusive policies that have been released or are in the works, and by the support from wing leadership here on 4 Wing. As a proud member of the transgender community I am humbled to be a part of the ground work being laid to support those who will come in to this organisation in the future.

For more information on TDOR, please visit the GLAAD website, reach out to a Positive Space Ambassador, or to the DTPAO at


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