LGBTQ* honour victims of violence

Ethan Krushel, CONTRIBUTOR

Charlotte Nolin stands among her sisters and peers at the 2016 Transgender Day of Remembrance. THE PROJECTOR/ Ethan Krushel

According to the Trans Murder Monitoring project, 295 Canadian transgender people died due to violence in 2016.

“People are afraid, that’s why we’re being taken away,” said Charlotte Nolin, 66. “But there are people here supporting us, so young trans people can go home with hope.”

The support Nolin talks of stems from the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event started in 1999 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.

Support came in from all over the city, as people from different genders and sexual identities gathered on Nov. 20 at the University of Winnipeg.

Organizer Shandi Strong said a transgender person is killed somewhere in Canada every 31 hours.

“Many of these victims are never identified and often no one cares to find out more,” said Strong.

“Being born with my inside matching my outside I have a lot of privilege. Those born without that alignment face a lot of violence,” Mandy Fraser, an ally to the transgender community, said after the ceremony.

During the ceremony, Nolin spoke of the aggression and discrimination she’s faced. In May, Nolin was sexually assaulted.

When she arrived at the hospital, black and blue, she says she couldn’t tell the doctors what happened. Nolin said she had been given a drug that completely sedated her, and she couldn’t remember anything.

“As long as people live in fear and don’t ask questions, that’s where the violence comes from.” said Nolin.

Nolin made the decision to go on hormones last year, after nearly 50 years of battling with who she really was.

“When I first came out 40 years ago, it was not accepted.” said Nolin.

But Nolin says the progress has become easier as she’s been able to express who she really is.

“My doctor asked how far I wanted to take it, and I told them all the way. I am a woman, I am here today, and I’m not going away.”

She plans to begin her transition operations in February of this year.

There are several resources that provide support for the transgender community in Manitoba. The UWSA Women-Trans Spectrum Centre accepts new members and hosts monthly events. The Winnipeg Transgender Support Group hosts meetings on the third Friday of each month at The Rainbow Resource Centre.