Queer Student Union holds vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance
And surprisingly few people showed up
While most students who remained on campus Friday were getting ready to go out, a few members of Temple’s Queer Student Union were honoring the lives of transgender people lost to violence and hatred at a Vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The event was organized by members of Temple’s Queer Student Union and Temple’s Queer People of Color and had been posted on Facebook as an event. They met at the Bell Tower at 6pm with tea lights and their speeches printed. Surprisingly, and unfortunately, few people showed up.
Whether because of the cold, the draw of leaving for Thanksgiving break, or just disinterest in this particular cause, Temple students seemed less gung-ho about social justice than usual.
Just last week, over 100 Temple students halted traffic on Broad Street marching from campus to City Hall to demand free tuition, abolition of debt, and a $15 minimum wage. Last year, students staged multiple “die-ins” around campus after the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Activism has always had a strong presence at Temple, so it was astounding to see such a small turnout to an event organized by a group with over 300 Facebook likes.
Even Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s new Mayor-elect, tweeted about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which holds particular ties to Philadelphia after the murder of transgender Temple student Keisha Jenkins in October.
The students at the vigil included Keisha’s name in a list they recited of all the transgender people who have lost their lives to violence and hatred this year.
In the U.S. alone, at least 21 trans people have been murdered so far in 2015, according to GLAAD, an organization that monitors how the media reports on and portrays LGBTQ people.