Home Social Justice Vigil held at Galbreath Chapel to remember those in the transgender community who have died this year

Vigil held at Galbreath Chapel to remember those in the transgender community who have died this year

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Thursday was National Trans Day of Remembrance, and the Ohio University LGBT Center hosted a vigil in Galbreath Chapel to remember those in the transgender community who have died in the past year.

delfin bautista, the OU LGBT Center director, welcomed those present at the “vigil of remembrance and resilience.” They explained that this day was created not only as a way to remember those who have died but to also recognize those who have survived and to bring awareness to the ignorance and injustice the transgender community is facing today.

This vigil held at OU was one of hundreds being held all across the country yesterday. The Human Rights Campaign posted an events page on their website listing all of the vigils being held on the day of remembrance. Visitors to the site were able to RSVP to events in their area.

After bautista welcomed everyone to the event, Title IX, an all-female acappella group, performed two selections for the audience. They began with a haunting rendition of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” and ended with a rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”

Following their performance, the mic was open for anyone who wanted to share their thoughts, feelings or experiences through any medium they liked. Many participants chose poetry to express their thoughts, but several audience members simply got up and shared their stories.

Upon entering the chapel Thursday night, everyone was given a slip of paper with the information of a transgender person who had died within the past year. bautista explained that at the end of the event, the names and information on the slips of paper would be read and a candle would be “lit” for each victim. Due to fire code, actual candles could not be lit; tea lights were turned on instead.

Everyone in attendance was invited for a light reception following the vigil, and immediately afterwards, all were invited outside to burn the slips of paper.

“Those who can and are able are welcome to join me in burning the names on the slips of paper that each of you have so that they’re not just thrown away, because we don’t just throw away people’s lives,” bautista explained before the names were read.

One by one, each audience member stood and shared the story on their slip of paper. The names were taken from the list found on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website and totaled around 85 people.

Derek Auble, a freshman majoring in computer science who identifies as transgender, shared why she felt it was important for her to attend the vigil.

“It’s so that the trans people that have died this year won’t be forgotten,” Auble explained. “It’s important to remember that we matter.”

Jack Hudak, a friend of Auble and freshman entomology major visiting from the Ohio State University, also shared his thoughts on the event.

“It’s sad that when the thing that most unifies the community is the collective breath of mourning they share at the deaths of their sisters and brothers,” Hudak said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been modified from the original to reflect Auble’s pronouns.


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One Comment

  1. ron

    November 23, 2015 at 1:54 AM



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