Transgender Day of Remembrance

As part of the 5th annual Ally Week and You are Loved Week, the Gender Relations Center and Right to Life organized a prayer service in memory of the seven transgender individuals murdered so far in 2018.

pride love GIF by Libby VanderPloeg

The prayer service was held at the Grotto, a fitting location for a solemn memorial for those seven people who lost their lives as a result of hate crimes.

 

Seven students read the names of those who were lost, lighting a candle after each name and day was read out loud.  The gathering was silent while each student walked into the Grotto with an unlit candle and took the time to light and place the candles one by one. We all had to sit in the silence, remembering each name and the loss of these people. None of us knew them, but their deaths bring into sharp relief the terrible reality of the world we live in: that people can be murdered for being who they are.

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Following the lighting of candles, two members of Right to Life read out a list of petitions. We asked for an end to violence and hate crimes, a greater respect for all human life.  Representatives of the largest student group on campus showed up to remember the lives of seven people.

 

It was a solemn event and a sad one, but it was still a gathering together in community.  We do that for so much at Notre Dame, and we had a chance to pray for those who we lost.

 

And we also prayed for those who committed those crimes.  That was unexpected, but is what we should strive for. We are called to pray for all people, but we prayed for love and mercy for those who did such things.  It is far easier to pray for the victims, but to pray for the perpetrators was unexpected and difficult to say. It may be a reflection of how we typically think about love and mercy, and how we should be challenged to pray for those whose actions we cannot comprehend.

 

It was a simple service, but it was powerful.

 

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