Transgender hate crimes are on the rise even in Canada - 2019-08-20
Our institutions and public spaces have historically ignored the basic rights and dignity of trans folk. At best, we are invisible in our institutions and in the daily grind of most Canadian lives, at worst, we are subject to hatred, suspicion and disgust.
On July 22, Statistics Canada published police-reported nationwide crime statistics for 2018. The report includes a table on hate crime that includes sexual orientation. Although the "gender identity and expression" category was recently adopted in the federal hate speech legislation, it does it not have its own category in the charts for the official Statistics Canada report. Statistics Canada says those hate crimes are reported as "transgender" and "agender" but gets put into the "other" category within "sex."
Before the new wording in the legislation, police had not kept an official record on the hate crimes against trans and nonbinary folks. This invisibility had troubling implications for our criminal justice system. With no record of the violence we experience, there was no need for the government to act.