StandOUT gathers for Transgender Day of Remembrance


Symiah Dorsey/The Lion's Roar

Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community gathered as StandOUT hosted an event in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 in the Student Union Breezeway.

Members and allies of LGBTQ+ gathered in a day of remembrance to mourn and spread awareness about violence that has occurred against the community.

Nov. 20 is recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance. In acknowledgement of this day, the StandOUT organization hosted an event in the Student Union Breezeway to honor those who had their lives taken as a result of transphobia.

StandOUT welcomed guest Pamela Raintree and Gwyneth Sterfenls,a sophomore history major, to give speeches at the event. 

Sternfels, a member of StandOUT, shared her experiences as a transgender female and expressed her disapproval of bullying.

“Freedom of hatred and bullying should be a human right,” said Sternfels. “This is tragically not the case. I yearn for the day that I can one day get married to my girlfriend and have neither of us come under fire for my identity.”

Sternfels also emphasized a message of equality within her speech. 

“My safety and sense of self should before their want for normalcy, and that goes for everyone,” said Sternfels. “I’m not going to pretend to be society’s definition of normal because that’s not what I am. I am me. My experience is different from the cisgender alternative, but that does not make me less valuable.”
After the speeches, Mo Heggins, a freshman art major, took the stage to list the names of 22 transgender and non-conforming people who have been killed in 2019.

The event concluded as the attendees formed a circle, held candles and shared a moment of silence in honor of the victims. 

Heggins expressed the importance of spreading awareness on the issue.

“I think it’s really important that people know that these are issues we still face today,” expressed Heggins. “Even though they are getting better, they have not stopped. A lot of people push us to the back corner and decide not to think about us, but we are here, and we will stay.”