Over sixty students attended a vigil last night for the Trans* Day of Remembrance at the Y-intersection on campus.
The vigil was hosted by Queer McGill’s Trans* Working Group, a new working group under the newly restructured organization. After an initial candle lighting ceremony, attendees organized in a circle to read the names of trans* people being remembered, followed by a moment of silence.
Mona Luxion, one of the event organizers, told The Daily that the vigil was held to “commemorate transgender people who have lost their lives – usually people who have been murdered.”
“Although today, we are also remembering people who have taken their lives and people who have died due to being denied medical care or being in such dire straits that they weren’t actually able to afford medical care or just being afraid of seeking medical care,” they said.
Luxion also explained that the event was aimed at raising awareness about the situation trans* people face, as well as to commit trans* people and allies to fight against these injustices.
Following the moment of silence, attendees shared stories and experiences until the event ended an hour later.
According to U3 History student and attendee Corinne Wolfson, the event was important as a forum for people to come together and see that there is support for people who are marginalized in their communities.
“I guess that there is just a big lack of visibility, and on days like these I remember what a luxury I have…that these people died just being who they were, you know the very fact of their physicality kind of gave people a license to hurt them, to insult them, to kill them, and it’s really upsetting,” Wolfson told The Daily.
Regarding how trans*-friendly McGill is, Luxion said, “It depends; there are some great people here, you can definitely find some pockets of support.”
“Overall it’s definitely not very trans* friendly and it’s not just McGill. McGill is embedded in an entire culture that is not very trans* friendly,” they continued.
“But things like being assigned to a room in rez based on your presumed gender, things like not being able to change your name on your class lists, on your email… are structural barriers that are in place even beyond the attitude of the people that make it a very difficult place to be trans*.”