vigil tea lights

Solemn students and community members came together to remember the loss of transgender individuals. Over 15 individuals from all ages, including high schoolers and elders, held a vigil in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance which is Nov. 20.

The vigil was hosted by the ISU Pride Alliance, Gender Alliance and Trans and Non-Binary Ames.

“I came here today to show myself as a trans person and as someone who has people’s backs,” said September Standing, the PR officer for Gender Alliance and a sophomore in art and design.

In a dark room lit by tea lights, the three organizations started their slideshow.

Five members of Trans and Non-Binary Ames presented the information, which included the names, place of residence and quotes from loved ones of transgender individuals who have died this year.

The 23 of the individuals were from the United States.

“[The Trans community] is a very small community and there’s just not a lot to remember about the ones that slip away from violence or just drift away, that’s why I came here tonight,” said Vivian, an Ames community member.

After the slideshow, the room became quiet with all attendees sitting in silence, some sniffled while others were in tears. The Pride Alliance offered rocks to write messages of lost trans community members or of empowerment for the community, which will be spread around the Iowa State campus.

“We are their family now and we will not let them be forgotten,” Standing said.

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