A transgender vigil, hosted by the Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion Association, was held in the Student Center Theatre on Monday, Nov. 21. The ceremony featured a name reading of those lost in the year of 2016 to anti-transgender violence.
Since 1999, a candle light vigil has been held on a day during the week of Nov. 20 to remember the lives lost to discriminatory violence against transgender people. Formally called “Transgender Day of Remembrance” (TDOR), this day is a solemn one to commemorate the victims of anti-transgender crimes.
Hofstra students attended the TDOR service to participate in the commemoration. Shenoa Erny, a sophomore history major said, “It’s important to remember everyone we’ve lost in this battle for equality. These people are more than just names.”
Several students who were present were either directly affected by transgender discrimination or knew of someone who had been affected. Freshman Dominick Stavola said, “I have a friend here on campus who has been [discriminated against]. I also have a friend back home who has also been discriminated against by his parents.” Some students felt personally victimized due to such forms of judgement.
Students also had something to say in response to the service. Beck Galbraith, a sophomore linguistics major, said, “I think it’s important to continuously commit ourselves to seeking justice not only for those that were killed, but for those who still face discrimination.”
Others responded more sympathetically. Stavola said, “I cried. It was very emotional. The second I stood up to read, I froze. It hit me that these are real people and this is a huge issue that isn’t really looked at.”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was a somber day to remember the lives lost to blind hate. However, the Hofstra community came together to show support for one another and to raise awareness of transgender discrimination.