Transgender Week of Visibility culminated in the Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20, nationally, and on Pacific’s campus a day to honor and mourn transgender individuals whose lives were ended because of their identities. Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity (CGE) commemorated the day by conducting a brunch and vigil on campus for the trans lives lost this year in the United States. This year, 46 trans individuals were murdered, breaking 2020’s record of 44 murders. This doesn’t include the trans people who took their own lives this year, who are also mourned on the Trans Day of Remembrance. Globally, 375 trans individuals are known to have been murdered.

“It was very somber and very heartfelt,” said CGE co-chair Kat Casaubon about Pacific’s event honoring the trans lives lost.

Joey Grafton, who is a senior in Pacific’s Psychology program, explained the Trans Day of Remembrance is meant to commemorate the trans lives lost in the United States through suicide, hate crimes, and bias incidents. Additionally, he pointed out that it is particularly important to honor the lives of black trans women and trans women of color, who are at increased risk of being killed for their identities. 

“We had a little candlelight vigil and had a poster put up where people could write affirming messages to affirm and support Pacific’s transgender population,” said Grafton.“There were a lot of trans people there to say ‘Hey, we’re all here, we can see each other, and we support each other.” Additionally, in a podcast for The Pacific Index, Grafton spoke about the personal significance of Trans Day of Remembrance, Pacific’s trans community, the beauty of being trans, and resources for trans people on campus. 

Outside of Pacific, the Q Center in Portland put on an interactive art display to honor the lost trans lives on November 19, the day before Trans Day of Remembrance.

Given the sensitive nature of this article’s topic and in the interest of spreading resources for trans individuals who may be in crisis, lifeline phone numbers are attached. — Kyla Wilson

The Trevor Project‘s 24/7/365 Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)

Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860

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Kyla Wilson (she/they) is a senior Creative Writing major at Pacific University from Caldwell, Idaho. They are the managing editor of the Silk Road Review at Pacific. Kyla’s poetry has been featured in Pacific Literary Undergraduate Magazine

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