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Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil brings awareness to the violent deaths of transgender people

A+Transgender+Day+of+Remembrance+vigil+was+held+on+Thursday%2C+Nov.+29+during+X+block+in+the+atrium.+Transgender+Day+of+Remembrance+was+first+initiated+in+1999+to+acknowledge+the+violent+deaths+of+transgender+people+all+around+the+world.
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Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil brings awareness to the violent deaths of transgender people

A Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil was held on Thursday, Nov. 29 during X block in the atrium. Transgender Day of Remembrance was first initiated in 1999 to acknowledge the violent deaths of transgender people all around the world.

A Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil was held on Thursday, Nov. 29 during X block in the atrium. Transgender Day of Remembrance was first initiated in 1999 to acknowledge the violent deaths of transgender people all around the world.

CONTRIBUTED BY PATRICK LIU

A Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil was held on Thursday, Nov. 29 during X block in the atrium. Transgender Day of Remembrance was first initiated in 1999 to acknowledge the violent deaths of transgender people all around the world.

CONTRIBUTED BY PATRICK LIU

CONTRIBUTED BY PATRICK LIU

A Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil was held on Thursday, Nov. 29 during X block in the atrium. Transgender Day of Remembrance was first initiated in 1999 to acknowledge the violent deaths of transgender people all around the world.

Jake Zucker, Staff Writer

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“Zakaria Fry.”

“Eduarda Figueiredo.”

“Unknown name.”

“Thalita de Silva.”

“Kristina.”

These were just five of the 309 names that rang out during a solemn vigil held on Thursday, Nov. 29 during X-block in the atrium. These five individuals, and at least 304 others, have been killed in the past year simply because they were transgender.

The high school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) organized this vigil for the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR).

Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith first initiated a TDoR in 1999 to acknowledge the violent deaths of transgender people all around the world.

This vigil, which has been held at the high school for seven consecutive years, was prefaced by a speech from junior Emma Perez, one of the co-facilitators of the GSA.

Perez said that it’s important for the high school community to be aware of the extent to which transgender people face violence.

“We can’t let it go unnoticed,” Perez said. “That is why we do this every year. We read the names, and we remember all those who have lost their lives.”

There were staggering statistics posted on the bulletin board in the atrium. According to these statistics, more than half of transgender male teens have attempted suicide, and three in four have experienced workplace discrimination. These numbers, among others, are significantly worse than the respective statistics for America’s cisgender population.

CONTRIBUTED BY PATRICK LIU
A transgender pride flag with the hashtag “won’t be erased” in the atrium.

A transgender pride flag adorned the central structure in the atrium with the hashtag “won’t be erased” written over it.

According to Perez, those words were written to show that transgender people will fight for their rights despite their lack of recognition from the Trump administration.  The United States Department of Human Services is attempting to establish a definition of sex under Title IX, which bans sex-based discrimination in any federally funded programs, that would take away any federal protections for the 1.4 million transgender Americans.

“People were trying to make assigned gender the only legal recognition that people would get,” Perez said. “So nothing could be changed, which would be really detrimental to the trans community in the United States.”

 

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Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil brings awareness to the violent deaths of transgender people