Sit-in and Vigil Held for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Will Muller ’23

Staff Writer

As students crammed for pre-Thanksgiving deadlines in the week preceding the break, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as off-campus communities as a whole, prompted the student body with reason to reflect. 

Across the country, Nov. 13-19 marked Transgender Awareness Week, an opportunity to bring Trans stories to the forefront of our conversations and consider how concerns surrounding Trans communities can be better addressed. The week offers an equal amount of education and activism, emboldening the rhetoric of the Trans community and its allies, as well as encouraging the projection of their experiences. The week concluded on Nov. 20 with Transgender Remembrance Day, a solemn occasion with which to remember those killed due to their Transgender identity. 

In their message to the campus community, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion considered Holy Cross’s own history of inclusivity and how the school can double-down on welcoming everybody. “While we’ve come a long way in recent years when it comes to inclusion, we still have much work left to do if we want to ensure the safety, happiness and inclusion of trans* folks in our communities,” read the DEI Office’s email, which also served as a reminder of the college’s religious responsibility for inclusion: “Our mission as a Jesuit, Catholic college calls on us to recognize every person as created in God’s image and likeness.  All members of the Holy Cross community are called upon to affirm the values that bind us to one another: love, mercy, and compassion.”

Pride, alongside the Chaplain’s Office and DEI Office, held a vigil and sit-in for the Day of Remembrance, which started more than two decades ago. Nov. 20th became Transgender Day of Remembrance in honor of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was tragically murdered in Boston in 1998. Vigils were held the following November and have continued for more than two decades as a way of memorializing the lives of those who’ve fallen victim to anti-transgender violence. Just this year, as reported by the DEI Office, 32 transgender people have been killed. A vast majority of them, like Rita Hester, were trans people of color. The DEI stated that the Day of Remembrance vigil was an opportunity for Holy Cross Students to “take a stand against hate speech and hateful ideologies, especially in the current climate on this campus.” 

Photo by the Human Rights Campaign

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