Trans Day of Remembrance vigil held in DCU

Amy Ní Cholgáin

A Ceremony of remembrance was held on DCU’s Glasnevin campus to commemorate the transgender and non-binary individuals who died as a result of violence this year.

International Trans Day of Remembrance took place on Tuesday, November 20th. Vigils and protests took place globally and several took place in Dublin.

The vigil was led by DCU LGBTA Society and attended by a small number of students, as well as DCUSU President, Vito Moloney Burke and VP for Welfare and Equality, Aisling Fagan.

Fagan said: “It was very important to the SU to be at the vigil today on International Trans Day of Remembrance to remember and pay our respects to all of those who we have lost due to transphobia and transphobic violence. We want to show our support to all of our trans students.”

DCU students in attendance gathered under the small arch between the McNulty and Marconi building to stay out of the rain at 6pm. Candles were handed out in shades of blue, white, and pink, (the colours that make up the trans flag) and the students lit each one of them and attempted to keep them lit in the bad weather.

Avery Ildefonse, DCU LGBTA society’s trans and non-binary officer, spoke about the importance of remembering victims of hatred and transphobia and about the need for allies both outside and within the LGBTQ+ community. They then read out a list of names and locations of each of the 369 victims this year.

“Trans Day of Remembrance is important to make people conscious of what is still happening and of the need to work toward making the world a safer place for the community,” they said.

Name after name was called out, with the majority being female names. Hearing the names of the transgender and non-binary people killed in the UK, in Latin America, or the many victims from the United States showcased the reality of transphobia.

By the end, most of the candles had gone out, though the students held on to them anyway. When asked afterwards about the importance of the day, Avery Ildefonse said: “While the quality of life of many people in the LGBTQ+ community has increased and many cultures are growing more accepting, Trans and Non-Binary people still face high levels of violence and struggle to access appropriate healthcare even in more accepting countries.”

Amy Ní Cholgáin

Image Credit: Alison Clair