From Berlin to Hong Kong, events are planned around the world to memorialize people killed due to anti-transgender prejudice.
In the Vancouver area, at least three events will mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Wednesday (November 20).
One of them will take place at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus. It’s being organized by Pride UBC and the Sexual Assault Support Centre, which are both arms of the UBC Alma Mater Society.
Anisa Mottahed, manager of the Sexual Assault Support Centre, told the Georgia Straight that she’s making cupcakes decorated with the trans pride flag for this week’s event. Last year’s Trans Day of Remembrance event on campus was very moving, she recalled.
“There was laughter. There was tears,” Mottahed said by phone. “We watched a segment on trans inclusivity. We lit candles together, shared a moment of silence. It was really beautiful.”
UBC’s event will be held in the Student Union Building. From noon to 4 p.m., the main concourse will be the site of a candlelight vigil. That will be followed by an “allyship” discussion and workshop in the Partyroom from 4 to 5 p.m. The AMS Art Gallery will host the main event—featuring guest speakers, an open mic, and food—from 5 to 8 p.m.
Mottahed said everyone is invited to attend the event, which she hopes will raise awareness of the marginalization of trans people and the importance of inclusion. She noted the Sexual Assault Support Centre provides services to people of all genders.
“Trans individuals are disproportionately victimized when it comes to sexualized violence,” Mottahed said. “That really needs to be a part of a rape crisis centre’s work—to really find ways to include trans individuals and celebrate their existence.”
Also on Wednesday, the Vancouver Transgender Day of Remembrance Society will hold an event at the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church (1803 East 1st Avenue), starting at 7 p.m. A short documentary screening, an open mic, and speakers are planned.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was created in response to the 1998 killing of Rita Hester in Boston.