Murder of Julie Berman

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Julie Berman
Died (aged 51)
Known forTransgender advocacy

The murder of Canadian transgender rights activist Julie Berman (1967/68 – 22 December 2019) occurred in downtown Toronto.[1] Berman was found in a home with severe head injuries on 22 December 2019; she was brought to a hospital and pronounced dead.[2] Colin Harnack was charged with second-degree murder for the assault.[3][4] The murder of Berman was cited as a prominent example of violence against trans people in Canada.[5][6]

Berman was a hairdresser,[7] prominent for trans-activism within the Toronto LGBTQ+ community,[8] who had volunteered with the Toronto-based LGBTQ+ charity The 519 for three decades.[9][10][11] Berman fought to raise awareness of anti-trans violence in Toronto and was involved with running Toronto's "Trans Day of Remembrance", which she had also spoken at.[8][12][13] Upon her death, Berman was hailed as a "lovely person who was committed to the political issues that are facing her community in Canada",[14] a "champion for trans rights".[15][16] Finance minister Bill Morneau, Toronto mayor John Tory, and Pride Toronto released statements mourning the death of Berman.[16][17] A vigil was held for her death in February 2020.[18]


  1. ^ "'A beautiful person': Toronto trans activist Julie Berman identified as homicide victim". CBC News. December 27, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  2. ^ DeClerq, Katherine (December 27, 2019). "LGBTQ+ community remembers slain woman as beautiful 'externally and internally'". CTV News. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  3. ^ "Man facing 2nd-degree murder charge in Annex assault". CityNews. December 22, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Boucher, Ashley (December 27, 2019). "Trans Activist Who Fought for LGBTQ Acceptance Is Killed in Toronto, Man Is Charged with Her Murder". People. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Trans Murders Are Continuing Into 2020". 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  6. ^ "She spent 4 years in a men's prison — how Canada often ignores complexities in trans violence". Global News. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  7. ^ Palmer, Victoria Glencross (Jan 14, 2020). "Remembering Julie Berman". Daily Xtra.
  8. ^ a b Sturla, Anna (December 28, 2019). "Trans activist killed in Toronto, two years after speaking out against anti-trans violence". CNN. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Broverman, Neal (December 27, 2019). "Trans Activist Julie Berman Murdered in Toronto". The Advocate. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  10. ^ Vella, Lauren (December 27, 2019). "Trans activist Julie Berman killed in Toronto". The Hill. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Milton, Josh (December 27, 2019). "Trans activist who tirelessly campaigned against transphobia found murdered in Canada". PinkNews. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  12. ^ Lemieux, Melissa (December 27, 2019). "Trans activist known for speaking out against transphobic murders assaulted and killed". Newsweek. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Assunção, Muri (December 27, 2019). "Beloved transgender activist who raised awareness about transphobia killed in Toronto". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  14. ^ Alhmidi, Maan (December 26, 2019). "Activist who raised awareness about transphobia murdered in Toronto". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Juarez, Sierra (December 27, 2019). "Trans-rights activist Julie Berman murdered in Toronto". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Ngabo, Gilbert; Mathieu, Emily (December 27, 2019). "Julie Berman remembered as a 'champion' for trans rights". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  17. ^ Macdonell, Beth (December 28, 2019). "Friends remember slain trans woman as 'outspoken' and 'beautiful'". CTV News. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  18. ^ "Trans rights activist remembered at vigil". CityNews. February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.