MRU pays respect to transgender and two-spirit lives lost
By Keoputhy Bunny, News Editor
With Nov. 20 marking the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Mount Royal University (MRU) students organized a vigil and a memorial walk across campus in honour of transgender and two-spirit individuals whose lives were lost due to hatred and transphobia.
The internationally recognized day was born out of the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender African-American woman in 1998. The following year, a vigil in San Francisco held by Gwendolyn Ann Smith caught on across the world.
Hester’s murder still remains unsolved.
In a press statement, associate Minister of Status of Women Whitney Issik says every Albertan deserves to live free from the fear of hatred and violence.
“Let us share in the grief of all Albertans who have lost loved ones because of anti-transgender violence, as well as all those who have experienced hate or discrimination because they are transgender,” she added.
According to the Government of Canada, one of the ways to better support trans people is if someone is unsure which pronouns to use, ask. Another idea to keep in mind is that trans identity does not depend on a medical transition or ‘how much’ a person has changed.
If students want help , MRU’s Pride Centre is located on the second floor of Wyckham House and is open to everyone.
Previously, MRU has also installed a permanent pride crosswalk on campus as a commitment to the LGBTQ2S+ community. MRU also partnered with Calgary Pride for their annual Calgary Pride Parade and Festival in 2020 and 2021.