El Estoque

Photo gallery: GSA remembers transgender individuals in academic court

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Photo gallery: GSA remembers transgender individuals in academic court

Hannan Waliullah

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Students sit in a circle around junior Ollie Venzon, who stood reading the names of the transgender individuals who lost their lives this year. The blue, pink and white transgender flag hung behind them, accompanied by a poster listing the names of some of these transgender individuals. On the back of the poster was a question.

“Take a moment to reflect. How do you feel right now? Think about how you contribute to transphobia in society, and what you can do to help.”

Resources for LGBT safe spaces were placed on the bottom of the stand. Observers walked past and watched Venzon read these names.

In previous years, the GSA would place a string that stretched from a tree on one side of the academic court to another that hung photos like a clothesline. The string showed pictures of transgender individuals who died that year with their names, ages and causes of death. But according to Venzon, the message that it sent could be misinterpreted.

“It [sent the] message to the trans people that if you’re trans, this is how you’re gonna die,” Venzon said. “And that wasn’t really the kind of message that we wanted to send.”

And so now, the message they send, as they sit in a circle in silence, is a message of change. It’s a call to action. It bleeds remembrance.  

Flip through the photo gallery above to see photos from the event.