Transgender Day of Remembrance continues to be observed on campus


Kent State students, faculty and community members gather at the gazebo on the front of the main campus on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 to remember the transgender lives that were lost in 2016. The student organization Trans*Fusion hosted the event a day after the national Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Emily Fulmer

Members of Kent State’sTrans*Fusion and the LGBTQ Student Center held Transgender Day of Remembrance at the gazebo in the front of the main campus  Monday evening.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held to honor and recognize those who have lost their lives due to the violence and hatred because of their gender identity.

The previous day of observation was held Thursday, at Risman Plaza, with PRIDE! Kent.

Alice Freitas, a junior forensic psychology major and president of Trans*Fusion, led Monday’s event.

“It’s an annual tradition in which we do reading of the names of all of the trans people that were murdered in the previous year,” Freitas said. “It’s a memorial for those of us who have passed.”

Freitas said that while the community is focused on pride, days such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance are needed to highlight those they have lost.

David Rosen, a senior philosophy major and ally chair for Trans*Fusion, said the trans community is not well understood by non-trans people.

“It’s important that people at the forefront, that the loudest voices be those who are part of the community,” Rosen said.

Freitas said over 100 names of transgender people who were murdered  and were on the list that he and others read aloud.

“These are the people who were reported,” Freitas said during the event.

There were reports of people from several countries, with the exception India, Russia and most of the European Union, according to Freitas.

“Today is a day to remember them, and to fortify ourselves and remind us why we fight,” Freitas said. “This isn’t some abstract concept, but something that literally takes lives.”

Ken Ditlevson, director of the LGBTQ Student Center at Kent State, also spoke at the event.

“Transgender violence isn’t anything the (LGBT) community hasn’t faced before,” Ditlevson said. “For decades thousands and possibly millions of our trans brothers and sisters have succumb to horrific acts of violence just for being who they are.”

Ditlevson said over 100 transgender people — and counting — have fallen victim to acts of anti-transgender violence.

“I say ‘and counting’ because the violence hasn’t stopped,” Ditlevson said. “Many reports go unaccounted for due to misgendering and ignorance.”

Emily Fulmer is a religion reporter, contact her at [email protected]