Trans Day of Remembrance vigil to be held at Union on November 10

Bianca Ring, Opinions Editor

Union College’s Pride Club is holding a vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance outside Schaffer Library on November 10 at 5PM. The official date of Trans Day of Remembrance is November 20, but holding it during a time that doesn’t interfere with finals week should make participation easier. There will be a candlelight vigil, where a speaker will announce the names of the 32 trans people who were killed this year, along with some information about each of the victims. After the vigil, a dinner and discussion will be held at the Unity Lounge, room 305 in Reamer. People will have the opportunity to share their own experiences at the discussion if they would like to, and there will be a discussion about some of the issues that contribute to anti-trans hatred and violence. 

Among these issues are the new legislation in many states, such as Michigan, Alabama, Texas, that ban minors from getting gender affirming care, and could even send supportive parents of transgender children to prison for life, according to LGBTQ+ news outlet them. Trans people are vilified at a young age, which contributes to not only self-hatred and suicide in the trans community, but normalizes anti-trans violence by convincing the public that trans people are the enemy. Kids are being banned from sports and accused of transitioning only to cheat, while legislation is passed that authorizes invasive genital exams for female athletes. 

People are accused of being predators for using a restroom that matches their preferred gender, to the extent that trans women like Alexa Ruiz are murdered just for entering a restroom, who was killed in 2020 in Puerto Rico, according to The Advocate’s Trudy Ring. However, when people such as Noah Ruiz use the bathroom for the gender they were assigned at birth, they are still attacked. Noah Ruiz was assigned female at birth, and according to them’s James Factora, Noah was told to use the women’s restroom. Even though he followed the rules, he was still attacked and subsequently arrested for entering the women’s restroom. Thankfully, he survived the incident and was released after a night in jail, but the situation could’ve easily led to death, as it has for so many trans victims of hate crimes. 

The frequent nature of this violent behavior makes it clear that people feel entitled to attack trans people regardless of what they are doing, which is a sentiment that current state legislation is only furthering. It is imperative that people within the queer community are informed on how to best help the most marginalized people within their own community, but it is even more important for cisgender people to inform themselves on trans issues. Transphobic ignorance and fear kills hundreds of trans people globally every year, and having an opportunity to learn about these issues on campus is important to maintaining a safe environment. I urge anyone who wishes to be an ally to the trans community to attend the discussion next Thursday. Being informed on trans issues saves lives, and education is one of the many steps our community can take to help stop the murder of trans people.