GSA Honors Victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Sunday, November 20th was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Junior Luca Higgins explained the day’s importance: “Trans Day of Remembrance is about remembering all the lives that have been lost due to violence and hate. We’ve come a long way since the 20th century.” 

A GSA member drawing a luminary during a meeting for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

M-A’s Gender and Sexualities Alliance Club (GSA) observed the day on Friday, November 18th. GSA club members made candles and luminaries for teachers to display in memory of the victims.

AP Chemistry teacher Matt Sandora, who chose to display a candle, said, “I think it’s an important time to remember we are all human and we should not judge people based on their gender or sexuality.” 

Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance is especially important due to last year marking the deadliest year of violence towards trans people since 2013 when the Human Rights Campaign started counting trans deaths. 57 transgender and gender nonconforming people were killed in 2021.

Ariyanna Mitchell was another name on the list of trans people we remember. She was a 17-year-old Black trans girl who was fatally shot after she was questioned about her gender identity. Mitchell’s death had a particular impact on sophomore Sophia Jobst, who said, “She was 17, it could have been any one of us. I don’t think a lot of people really grasp how prevalent this violence is.”

The flyer GSA put up around the school in honor of the lives lost.

Including the recent shooting, 2022 has seen a reduction, but still has tallied to 37 deaths. The shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs that killed five people and left 17 wounded occurred just minutes before the start of Trans Day of Remembrance.

Jobst said, “We are doing the best we can. But it’s not enough to just give visibility; people don’t understand how much hate is all around us.” 

Sophomore Sofia Basso, Trans Day of Remembrance is important because of the hate she hears at M-A. She said, “I hear homophobic and transphobic things in the halls all the time. It makes me think about all of the hateful people in the world.”

To read more about the victims, click here.

Arden Margulis was a junior in his second year of journalism at the M-A Chronicle before he tested out of high school. He was the M-A Chronicle's Webmaster when it was a finalist for the Online Pacemaker. During his first year, Arden wrote a two-part series on Paper Tutoring, which won First Place News Story from Santa Clara University. Arden was a finalist for Writer of the Year from the National Scholastic Press Association. He also won First Place News Writing from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for an article on FERPA and M-A's No Privileges List. Arden focused on news and legal research along with sending Public Records Act requests to government agencies. He was most proud of an editorial he worked on about M-A's treatment of sexual assault survivors. He left the M-A Chronicle to intern at the Almanac and go to college earlier.

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