A new plaque honouring people in the transgender community is being unveiled on International Transgender Day of Visibility.

It’s the fourth plaque dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community that’s going up in Ontario, the newest one will be mounted in Fort Frances, ON. and only feet from the US border at Minnesota.

The plaque will honour the memory of Dianna Boileau who is a Canadian transgender activist who has been advocating for the rights of transgender people for over 20 years. She is the founder of Gender Mosaic, a support group for transgender individuals and their families, and has been actively involved in promoting awareness and education about transgender issues in Canada. Boileau has also been involved in numerous human rights initiatives, including the development of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which includes protections for transgender people. Her work has been instrumental in advancing the rights and visibility of transgender people in Canada.

Also featured on the ironwork is Dr. Harold Challis. Dr. Challis was a Canadian physician who made significant contributions to the field of transgender surgery. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was one of the few surgeons in the world who performed sex reassignment surgery, which involved the surgical alteration of a person’s physical sex characteristics to match their gender identity. Challis was a pioneer in this field and worked tirelessly to develop surgical techniques that would improve the outcomes for transgender individuals. His contributions helped to pave the way for the wider acceptance and availability of gender-affirming surgeries today.

This was also the first surgery of its kind to be covered under OHIP.

A ceremony today, March 31, will showcase the new plaque La Verendrye Hospital at 1 pm. A live stream of the event is here