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Saturday, April 13, 2024

UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center hosts annual Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil on Nov. 20

The candlelight vigil honored transgender individuals who passed away in the past year


By BENJAMIN CARRILLO — campus@theaggie.org


On Nov. 20, the LGBTQIA Resource Center held a vigil for community members to remember transgender individuals who have passed away. Attendees were also welcome to bring photos of passed transgender loved ones, according to the LGBTQIA Resource Center Instagram. The altar for this vigil is inside of the LGBTQIA Resource Center.

Angel Bernardino, the Trans Advocate & Student Services specialist for the LGBTQIA Resource Center, discussed the importance of having this vigil updated and remembering the newly fallen transgender individuals every year.

“I included people who were murdered since [the] last Transgender Day of Remembrance,” Bernardino said, “[and made] sure to include people that were on the official list on the Human Rights Campaign’s website to remember those who passed away.”

It is crucial that the vigil continues to be held every year with updated information in order to raise greater awareness for transgender deaths, according to Bernardino.

“I think the way that we honor our dead says a lot about us,” Bernardino said. “Moving forward, it would be great to see more support for events like this. It’s important to show up for the community, and even though it’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, it’s also for allies and people of the LGBT community to be aware of those who lost their lives for being [themselves].”

Alongside the vigil, the Transgender Non-Comforming United (Trans-GNC) held a meeting in the LGBTQIA Resource Center to create a safe space for students to talk about their own experiences in the community and the sacrifice to the LGBTQIA+ movement made by loved ones who came before them.

Fin Piper, a first-year environmental engineering major involved with the Trans-GNC, said that the vigil itself was a “nice symbolic gesture.”

“[However], I feel like it would be more meaningful to me if we sort of did something more concrete and something bigger to support trans people at this school,” Piper said.

It is also important to vote and be active in transgender politics, according to Piper, so that the vigil’s death count and the amount of people remembered on it decreases every year.

One student who asked to remain anonymous said that this is xyr first time being at a vigil since being out.

“This is my first time as a non-heterosexual person, [and] it’s so sad looking back at all the shit that has happened, especially with current politics,” the source said.

Blake Tallo, a third-year psychology major also involved with the Trans-GNC, said that vigil needs to be talked about more.

“It doesn’t affect just transgender people in the community, but also everyone, including allies,” Tallo said. “Just taking time to remember these individuals and knowing that there’s a support system to hear more within the UC Davis community could be nice.”

In the future, Bernardino hopes to advertise this event more.

“It would be great to get feedback from the community on what they’d like to see in future iterations,” she said.

The vigil will be up for at least a few more months, but Bernardino hopes to have it open until the next academic year, and she encourages students to come visit whenever they have a chance to.


Written by: Benjamin Carrillo — campus@theaggie.org


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