GSA vigil for Transgender Remembrance Day


Expressing fear and sorrow for those part of the LGBTQ+ community that lost their lives in the last year, two students attend the vigil GSA held for Transgender Remembrance Day.

Students gathered around the school’s flagpole Friday, Nov. 18 in remembrance of transgendered men and women who were killed due to their gender expression.

On a brisk morning Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) hosted a vigil where students and school social worker Leah Black held candles and read the names of the 41 transgendered people who lost their lives because of violence, homicide, and suicide in 2016 with 25 occurring in the United States.

This year has had the most transgendered deaths ever recorded, and in addition to being transgendered most of the people killed were also people of color. Oakville has many transgendered youth and several were brought to tears during the ceremony.

“I started tearing up because people that I know personally might have to deal with that one day and that really scares me,” Kelly McElroy (10) said.

Transgender Remembrance day was Nov. 20. It is recognized as a day to honor transgender lives both living and lost. Since school was not in session on the actual day, the vigil took place on Friday and students are noticing the acceptance Oakville can provide

“I think it’s really cool our school honors it, because not many other schools would be open to it,” McElroy said.

Many schools in Missouri and across the United States are not open and accepting to the LGBT+ community, and vigils honoring those members are steps in a more accepting direction. In addition to the growing awareness, many students felt a deeper connection.

“In our society a lot of times the LGBT community, particularly transgender individuals, are not spoken about and they have all these issues that face them and they’re not brought up, they’re not discussed. Just the act of remembering them was giving a voice to the struggle,” Vince Duong (12) said.