Transgender Day of Remembrance
Jacob Waring – Reporter
Students read the names of those whom had been affected by fatal transphobic perpetrators in front of Hilton C. Buley Library last week at the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Hale Muncey, a junior and interdisciplinary studies major was one of the students who read the names of the victims.
“Vontashia Bell was a young transgender woman who was fatally shot on August 13th in Shreveport, Louisiana,” Muncey said. “In her last Facebook selfie, she posted that she was finally feeling like herself again.”
Those in attendance, about 50 students, stood in a circle and listened while holding candles.
Transgender Day of Remembrance ended with a moment of silence for the lives lost.
Muncey said it is important to speak about such tragedies as the media does not mention the victims as often as they should.
“It’s emotional,” Muncey said. “It’s definitely like, as somebody who’s part of the trans community, very visceral to hear about other trans people being killed, and like the details of that.”
Olivia Carney, a graduate intern at the SAGE Center, whose mission is the promotion of inclusivity for LGBTQ+ and providing programming, advocacy, and support to students that they benefit, said most of the people they were remembering that night were trans women of color.
The idea, she said, was to show that the LGBTQ+ community is composed of multiple minority statuses, intersecting identities and is more than just either classifying someone as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not.
Carney said the day of remembrance was held in the rotunda of Engleman for the last two years.
The change in location, according to her, was the idea that social justice can inspire uncomfortable angst when discussing critical issues or deaths. She said sometimes people must make themselves uncomfortable to address critical issues. Thus, holding the event outside embodies that way of thinking.
“Being outside in the middle of November, seems like a good way to mirror the discomfort that a lot of people feeling in a physical sense, like a metaphorical discomfort,” said Carney.
She said she estimated around 50 people attended, which is an increase from the previous year’s 15 individuals.
Miranda Fabre, a junior and social work major, said it restored her faith in humanity a little bit because seeing that many people show up for the event showed that people do care.
“It’s pretty powerful seeing almost 50 people show up for something that was really publicized. So, its really great these people are honoring those who were killed,” Fabre said.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was just one event in a week-long Transgender Awareness Week. Posters were placed all over campus of the stories of those who died due to transphobic people.
On Nov. 15, “Little Miss Westie,” a documentary that chronicles the lives of two transgender siblings during an era of Trumpian politics, was shown.
Photo Credit: Jacob Waring