Candlelight vigil honors Transgender Day of Remembrance

Calum Sullivan, Assistant Editor

On Wednesday November 17, Viterbo held a candlelit vigil to commemorate the lives lost to violence against transgender people in 2020. The ceremony was in conjunction with Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20; a day for honoring transgender individuals whose lives are cut short due to violence.  


Emilio Alvarez opened the evening with a prayer, imploring all gathered to honor those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence. Participants were then asked to take several moments to reflect on their hopes for change in how transgender individuals are treated in our society.  


A reading of names followed, with each person being acknowledged and remembered. The list included individuals such as Tony McDade, a black transgender man killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida; and Monika Diamond, a black transgender woman and business owner in Charlotte, North Carolina.   


Anti-transgender crimes are often misreported or not reported at all, and so while a list of 38 names was compiled for 2020, a full and accurate list of the lives lost to transgender violence would be impossible to complete. After each name was said, those gathered committed to remembering the names of those individuals.  


Following the ceremony, the documentary “Disclosure” was aired. The documentary covers media representation of transgender individuals and the ways in which media representation can help or hurt those who don’t conform to societal gender norms.  In the documentary, actress Jen Richards states, “There is a one-word solution to almost all the problems in trans media… we just need more.  And that way the occasional clumsy representation wouldn’t matter as much because it wouldn’t be all that there is.”