A vigil is being held in the courtyard of the UBCO campus from 11 to 1 today to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The event is co-hosted by UBC Okanagan’s Pride Resource Centre and is to honour transgender people and remember lives lost to hatred and violence.
Tobin Neme with the Centre says it’s important for the community to grieve together.
“We go through a lot every year. We have friends that pass away because they’re trans. So this is a way for us to get together and say hey this isn’t okay, we need to make this better.”
About 23 trans people in the United States have been killed this year.
Tobin says while there has only been one death in Canada this year, violence against members of the trans community continues, even in the Okanagan.
“There has been in the last week or so some people that I know just being attacked when they’re walking home from the pub or something like that.”
A lot of those stories don’t get told.
“I think because it’s normal for us. To a degree, it’s kind of like, we get yelled at on the street. We get threatened all the time and if we were reporting it all the time it would become monotonous.”
And people might become immune to it.
The community holds this day to make their struggles visible.
Tobin says despite those incidents, attitudes are changing, especially as the demographic changes and it is getting better.
The vigil today is also co-hosted by UBC Okanagan’s Equity and Inclusion Office and the Okanagan Pride Society.