University of Glasgow flag-raising marks Transgender Day of Remembrance

Observance of the national Transgender Day of Remembrance is both vitally important and often lacking.

Psychologist Graciela Balestra has estimated a 30 to 32 years life expectancy for trans people, and a massive 54% increase in trans-targeted hate crimes between 2012-13 and 2013-14. As such, University of Glasgow’s acknowledgement of the Day has been an important and warm reminder to trans people on campus that we are not ignored; that acceptance, support and solidarity are ever-growing.

GULGBTQ+ were out at the crack of 10am manning a bake sale on library hill to raise money for the Scottish Trans Alliance, whose main goal is to promote inclusion and equality for trans people in Scotland, and to improve gender reassignment services for those who need them. Both cake and awareness were distributed widely.

Particularly poignant was the raising of the Transgender Pride flag on the main flag pole at 12 noon. University of Glasgow can claim to be the first Scottish university to fly the trans flag.

The evening played host to a GULGBTQ+ workshop centring on issues faced by transgender issues, with clips from the series ‘True Trans’, a series focusing on the life of trans woman Laura Jane Grace, plus a speech by Lauren Lubin, the creator of the as yet unreleased film ‘We Exist’, which focuses on the lives of trans individuals who do not identify as male or female.

The acknowledgement and discussion of issues faced by people outside the gender binary, a generally much ignored and erased group, was particularly welcome to many present.

Following discussion, a candlelight vigil was held in the Cloisters of the Main Building in remembrance of the many transgender individuals killed in hate crimes over the past year. Stirring words from Anna Hughes, followed by a moment of silence, gave pause to recognise the struggle of trans people across the nation, and served as a reminder that this fight is ongoing. It is up to us all to remember those lost and defend the living, and to continue to spread safety and acknowledgement for trans people everywhere.

[Briar Dickey]

[photo credit: Scott Wilson]

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