Fourth Estate/Madison Schofield

Students gather to mourn and call for action to protect trans youth.


Mason students and community members gathered at Horizon Hall on Friday to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

TDOR is held annually on Nov. 20 to recognize and remember the trans and non-binary lives lost due to anti-trans violence in the past year. 

Mason’s observance of TDOR occurred on Nov. 17. Students and community members gathered for a reading of the almost 400 names of trans and non-binary people who died this year. The event included a candlelighting ceremony and a moment of silence.

The event was hosted in collaboration with the Queer Student Leadership Council, the Pride Alliance, the Center for Culture, Equity & Empowerment and the LGBTQ+ Resources Center. 

According to Pride Alliance Secretary Jake Kornfield, it is essential for the LGBTQ+ community to gather together during this time. 

“In a world that isn’t always kind to trans people, community is everything. Community is life-saving,” said Kornfield

According to the Trans Lives Matter website, violence is the leading cause of death amongst trans and non-binary people, with many being lost due to beatings, stabbings, gunshots and other transphobic violence. 

TDOR is not only a day to honor those lost, but a day that serves as a call to action. 

“Nothing can bring back the people we lost, but we can prevent further violence from occurring,” said Kornfield. “We all have a moral obligation to change the world so that being trans doesn’t have to be a painful experience.”

Student Senator Bas Rawat shared that they are working with Student Government to protect trans and non-binary students, and prevent policies that may lead to harm. They also added that community help is essential. 

“As we move forward in time we must recognize the hardships the trans community endures, and how we are susceptible to large amounts of hate and violence,” they said. “Please do your part in helping the community. Protest policies to honor the past lives that we’ve lost and to protect future trans youth.”

Rawat invites the community to join them in fighting for trans lives at an upcoming rally hosted by the Pride Liberation Project. The rally which was originally scheduled for Nov. 19 in Richmond was postponed due to the tragedy at UVA. 

According to Rawat, updates regarding the rally’s new date will be shared on the organization’s Instagram.