Dimmed lights with flickering candles line the perimeter of the room, with each one hauntingly illuminating the pictures of those who lost their lives due to hate crimes. This was the passionate and somber scene of the transgender memorial in the Tabler Center for Arts, Culture and Humanities gallery.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, the Center for Prevention and Outreach, or CPO, teamed up with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, LGBTA, to hold a memorial in honor of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“The day of remembrance is about remembering all of the transgender folks,” Sarah Jones, an intern for CPO, said. “It is a way to celebrate transgender accomplishments as well as those who lost their lives.”
The day of remembrance’s official date is Nov. 20. However, CPO decided to wait until after Thanksgiving break to have the memorial.
“CPO wanted to give the students time to take in the memorial,” Nolan Theodore, an intern for CPO and vice president of the LGBTA, said. “We didn’t want to rush it and squeeze it in before the break.”
The memorial was open for viewing on both Nov. 28 and 29 from 6 p.m. through 9 p.m. On the walls of the room were 73 pictures and short biographies for each of the transgender people who lost their lives.
“This memorial is important because it is something that isn’t always covered,” said Theodore. “It is brutal crimes that go unnoticed. The day of remembrance is a reminder to us all that this is happening. There are so many evils in the world and this is one of them.”
The last wall panel of the transgender memorial was dedicated to 10 articles about celebrities who are making a difference for transgender people. A few celebrities that were highlighted were Chaz Bono, Isis King and Lana Wachowski.
While the memorial was going on at the Tabler Arts Center, there was a vigil being held by the LGBTA in the SAC. The vigil had speeches, reflections and candles to represent those who have died.
“LGBTA is great overall as a resource for anyone,” said Theodore. “They have meetings and discussion groups, where they will have topics like ‘what does queer mean to you?’”
LGBTA has general body meetings at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays at the Student Activities Center and discussion groups during the week at 8:30 p.m. in the CPS library in the union.
Both CPO and the LGBTA found a way to make transgender awareness tangible for everyone in honor of the day of remembrance.
“I think that providing awareness about both those who have died and those who are making progress for transgenders is needed,” Jones said. “If more are aware more light can be shown on the problem and the more it can be fixed.”