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Canada: Toronto to get permanent trans memorial after city removes makeshift one

Nick Duffy August 11, 2014

A permanent transgender memorial is to be developed in Toronto, after a makeshift one was accidentally washed away by council staff.

The original chalk memorial, in the city’s Barbara Hall Park, was created by trans activists last month, featuring a transgender symbol and the names of murdered trans women.

However, it was washed away by council staff, who had wrongly identified it as graffiti.

Trans activist Christin Milloy told the Toronto Star: “The city came along and literally erased the deaths of trans people.

“In addition to facing mass discrimination in society, our lives are in danger.

We are killed, and something needs to be done. That’s why a memorial is absolutely necessary. It also gives us a place to go to reflect on these issues, and to remember those that we’ve lost.”

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said: “I don’t think that there would have been a rush to remove it had the city staff recognized what it was.

“I would say that there would be a large number of LGBT community members — minus the T — who probably would not recognize the trans symbol if they saw it.”

She pledged to ensure that the chalk memorial – which has been put back in place – will not be washed away by staff, and said she will pursue a permanent memorial spot.

“This is not a one-day resolution, but if the community has taught me anything, there seems to be a real passion and desire to give voice to the voiceless, and to ensure visibility to those who are living outside of the purview right now.”

Manchester has the UK’s only permanent transgender memorial sculpture, in Sackville Gardens.

A transgender teenager was stabbed on a train in DC last month, while a trans woman was burned to death in Florida.

A Cincinatti trans woman was also shot dead last month, while two trans women have been murdered in Baltimore since June.

More: Canada, Crime, death, memorial, murder, Toronto, Trans, Transgender, transsexual

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