The Canadian Trans Flag's Story
The Canadian Trans Flag was first used for the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20, 2010. The Ottawa Police Services came to the Trans Community through the Ottawa Police Services/GLBT Liaison Committee and asked to do a Banner Unfurling/Flag Raising Ceremony to Commemorate TDOR. This would become the first time in Canada that any official organization formally recognized the Trans Community. This was a huge milestone for the Trans Community.
The following year at TDOR 2011, the Ottawa Police repeated the Banner Unfurling/Flag Raising Ceremony. The Ottawa Paramedics asked to do their own Flag Raising Ceremony and Ottawa City Hall and Gatineau City Hall also Raised the Trans Flag.
At TDOR 2012 Ottawa Police, Ottawa City Hall, Ottawa Paramedics, Ottawa Fire and Ottawa By Law all Raised the Trans Flag. In attendance at these Flag Raisings were Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Deputy Mayor Eli El-Chantiry, Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, Paramedic Chief Anthony DiMonte, Fire Chief John deHogge, By Law Chief Linda Anderson and City Councillors Katherine Hobbs and David Chernushenko. Durham Region (Oshawa) City Hall also Raised the Trans Flag joining the Ottawa-Gatineau area to commemorate TDOR.
Following the first Flag Raising Ceremony at Ottawa Police Headquarters in 2010 the Canadian Trans Flag was used as a focal point for a March from Ottawa Police Headquarters to
Parliament Hill to support Bill C-389, a Bill to add Gender Identity and Gender Expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Criminal Code.
The date for TDOR 2010 coincided closely with Third Reading Vote for Bill C-389.The March was met at Parliament Hill by MP Bill Siksay, the presenter of this Private Member’s Bill, who addressed the crowd. The Bill passed Third Reading but died on the Senate floor when an election was called.
In the following Parliament MP Randall Garrison presented Bill C-279. This was a very similar Bill to Bill C-389. Bill C-279 passed Third Reading in the House of Commons on March 20, 2013. The Trans Flag was again a significant part of a jubilant Reception in the Parliament Building that followed.
At Queen’s Park in Toronto on June 13, 2012 Bill 33 passed Third Reading. This Bill added Gender Identity and Gender Expression to the Ontario Human Rights Code. It received Royal Assent June 19, 2012. The Trans Flag was prominently displayed at the Reception which followed passage of the Bill.
The Canadian Trans Flag has been used in numerous Pride Parades including Ottawa, Toronto, Peterborough, Kingston, Brockville, Oshawa and Sudbury. Groups like Ottawa’s Gender Mosaic, Toronto’s Xpressions and the Trans Lobby Group, who were instrumental in promoting Bill 33, have adopted the colours in their banners.