At the National Student Pride Awards, LGBTQ+ Campaign won the award for 'LGBTQ+ Society Event of the Year' for their Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil. Congratulations to everyone involved with the set-up and execution of the event.
Find below the nomination that the campaign received for their award:
Oxford SU LGBTQ+ Campaign held a candlelit vigil for Trans Day of Remembrance, in honour of those in the trans community who lost their lives to transphobic violence. It provided the community with a chance to mourn, remember and stand up and stand strong as a community. The event gave anybody who wanted to speak the opportunity to make themselves seen and heard, and empowered the community to fight back against the transphobia that remains prevalent within our society, as well as our University.
The campaign gave all attendees candles at the vigil and provided a specialised welfare room next to the square which provided a private and safe place for anyone feeling overwhelmed. This room was manned by peer-support trained committee members who were able to properly support those that attended. The vigil was attended by over 250 people, who came with placards, cards and flowers to honour the occasion. 9 trans people spoke at the event - some reading poems that resonated with their trans-ness, others reading speeches about the importance of continuing the conversation about anti-trans violence. The Club Q shooting, where 5 queer people lost their lives, 2 of them being trans, happened only the day before the vigil. Many of the speeches honoured their lives and highlighted the frequency of devastating attacks against our community. They talked about how violence is happening now, today, all around us and so we need to keep talking and raising our voices. About how we all deserve to keep living, to feel joy and love and peace. Such sentiments were incredibly powerful and resonated deeply with those attending given the situation and purpose of the event. To supplement the vigil, the Campaign set up a physical memorial in the centre square of town, which listed all the names of trans people who lost their lives to hatred.
The memorial, which was a community project that anyone was welcome to contribute to, took over 30 hours of work to create. It stayed up for a week and allowed people the chance to reflect more privately, as well as to raise awareness of anti-trans violence in the wider Oxford community. Bunches of flowers were left at the foot of the memorial, and the campaign received many messages from both trans people and allies about how grateful they were for the memorial and the message that it sent to the wider community of Oxford.