Our community demands justice and safety for trans women & girls

Mai 1, 2023Statement

Over the past year, trans women in Canada and the United States have been subject to increased amounts of hate and harassment. This is not new. Trans women have experienced hate forever; however the rise of far right ideology in recent years has emboldened the attacks and brought the violence into the mainstream. While hatred and harassment are most visible online, it must be said that trans women experience violence in their day-to-day lives offline and in our communities, too. Regina is no exception, nor is our city a safe haven for trans women. That must change.

Earlier this year, local trans woman and activist Cat Haines was nominated for her second YWCA Regina Women of Distinction award since 2019. Cat is a community organizer and non-profit professional who spends her time building safer, more inclusive spaces for all, particularly trans women and girls. Most recently, Cat designed and launched Into the Streets, a mentorship program for trans girls to develop skills in leadership, community support, and activism. We are proud to offer administrative support to this program.

While Cat has been subject to harassment stemming from far-right blogs and personalities spreading disinformation about her work and community involvement over the past several months, she has forged ahead and continued to care for the people in our community.

The YWCA Regina has been targeted by people across North America for daring to select a trans woman as a Women of Distinction award finalist, and for hiring Fae Johnstone as the event’s keynote speaker. YWCAs, non-profits, and community members across Canada have offered Fae and the YWCA Regina their support and solidarity, and rightfully so. We extend our support and solidarity to Fae and the YWCA Regina, too. 

Furthermore, we call on our local non-profit and community sector to offer Cat their support and solidarity. 

Local trans women deserve thanks, recognition, respect, and safety. Prejudice and hate towards trans women does not only exist online — it exists amongst the people who live and work alongside these women in our community, in the policies adopted and practiced by organizations, and in the laws upheld by our government. 

We are fortunate to share our city with women like Cat who fight like hell for justice and safety for all of us, every day. It is time that we return the favour by fighting for and demanding justice and safety for trans women and girls.

We wish Cat the best of luck as a finalist for the Women of Distinction Awards. We hope that no finalist experiences vitriol and hate like Cat has ever again. They, like Cat, should be celebrated for their accomplishments and rich contributions to our community.

If you or your organization would like to add your name to this solidarity statement, please contact us at info@ivydeanconsulting.ca. Ivy + Dean has made a $250 donation to TransSask to support the Trans Health Navigator project in Cat’s name. We strongly encourage other agencies and individuals to consider making similar contributions at www.transsask.ca/donate.

Co-Signers of this Statement: (Alphabetical Order)

  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters Regina & Area
  • Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity
  • Common Weal Community Arts
  • Creative Options Regina
  • GRR!
  • Globe Theatre
  • LeBlanc Jensen Law Firm
  • Mackenzie Art Gallery
  • Mortise & Tenon
  • Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Studies Network at Luther College
  • Nylut
  • OUTSaskatoon
  • Planned Parenthood Regina
  • ProjectPlayYQR
  • Queen City Pride
  • RaiseHER
  • Regina Abortion Support Network
  • Regina Early Learning Centre
  • SaskMusic
  • The Artesian
  • The Enchanté Network
  • TransSask
  • TransSask Support Services
  • UR Pride Centre
  • YWCA Regina

Individuals: (Alphabetical Order)

  • Adrienne Germainrichards
  • Alexis Losie
  • Brittany Muir
  • Carla Harris
  • Cassandra Ozog and Eric Oleson
  • Celeste Seiferling
  • Evie Ruddy
  • Gwen Grinyer
  • Jera MacPherson
  • Megan Moore, Co-Chair, Planned Parenthood Regina
  • Megan Nash, Musician
  • Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
  • Raylee Perkins & Brendan Dickie from QueerEd Podcast
  • Talitha McCloskey
  • Tara Molson, Chairperson for the Regina Board of Education