• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Trans Day of Remembrance: How the University Marked the Day 

ByJess Clark

Nov 28, 2023

Content Warning: Transphobia, violence, suicide

Trans Day of Remembrance was marked on Monday 20th November, at the University of Edinburgh and around the world. 

According to GLAAD, a non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organisation, Trans Day of Remembrance is observed to honour the memory of transgender people who have lost their lives due to transphobic violence. 

EUSA provided The Student with a summary of events that have been held on campus: 

The University held a community-led vigil in Bristo Square on Monday evening. The event was open to staff, students and public, and concluded with a non-public lounge. 

The Edinburgh University Feminist Society, alongside Gender Liberation held a discussion group to celebrate trans people, their lives and their experiences. 

Ash Scholz, the University’s LGBTQ+ Liberation Officer told The Student:

“Trans day of Remembrance is about mourning and honouring the trans and gender non-conforming lives lost over the course of the year. 

Read More: Liberation Officers start petition as university ‘fails in its duty of care’ towards transgender students and staff

“The day is about showing up for the trans community, showing solidarity and standing against the hate and exclusion that leads to such disproportionate numbers of violent deaths in the trans community.

“It is about being sad and scared and angry against the inaction of governments and stakeholders. But it is mainly about community- mourning, honouring and recognising, loving and supporting in the face of these challenges.” 

Gina Gwenffrewi, a Staff Pride Network Union representative, who attended the Bristo Square vigil stated: 

“2023 has been marked in the UK by several trans suicides and at least one murder of a trans teenager. 

“These are all reasons to remind us to come together as a community and commemorate those lives that have ended because of this hostile environment for trans people.

“TDOR then is an opportunity to reflect on both where things are in the UK and in the world at large, as well as providing an opportunity for a community to come together amid this pain.” 

Trans Day of Remembrance was established in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to mark the life of Rita Hesler, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. 

Image via Rayna Carruthers.