Recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance at UNI

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The women’s and Gender Studies department will be hosting a candlelight vigil this Friday for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

TEHYA TOURNIER

To be heard, seen and respected. That is what graduate student Noah Andrew said he believes the Transgender Day of Remembrance is for.

The Women’s and Gender Studies department, in collaboration with Rod Library, will pay tribute to the transgender lives lost in the year 2020 with a candlelight vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance on Friday Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Campanile.

There will be 32 released names of the transgender community that will be honored at the vigil.

This event has been going on for the past five years here on campus, and is nationally celebrated to share the stories of those lost within the transgender community.

This year, Andrew decided to take lead at UNI on this event.

“As a trans student here at UNI, I took it upon myself to do this just a part of being a leader and for my voice, and others, to be heard,” he said.

Andrew said he does not feel heard at UNI and  hopes this event can spark more activism and conversation. He and others in the LGBTQ+ community at UNI urge the university to just listen.

“The overall goal is just to bring awareness because they were a part of our community,” said Andrew. “Whether we knew them personally or not, they still contributed to society.”

Andrew encourages others who aren’t a part of the transgender community but are students, faculty and community members to be a part of the event Friday evening because acknowledging and remembering those lives effects everyone.

“It does still affect you,” he said. “You can have someone you love or people around you be queer and be trans, and it does affect you, so getting involved so that not only the peoples in those communities will be the only ones doing things like this, helps distribute the emotional labor and makes us feel more safe on campus.”

Due to COVID-19, those planning to attend will be required to wear masks and socially distance themselves from other attendees while honoring the transgender lives lost in the last year.