OUT at MSU Billings will host a vigil on campus for Transgender Day of Remembrance this Wednesday as part of Transgender Awareness week.
Transgender Day of Remembrance honors people who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence every year on November 20th.
"It’s an obligation, obviously, to those who have died, but it also is important to those who are living. For trans people to know that the wider society is invested in their safety and their wellbeing," says Reverend Dwight Welch, councilor for OUT at MSUB and campus minister for United Campus Ministry.
OUT at MSUB will observe Transgender Day of Remembrance November 20 at 5:30 P.M. The vigil will include speeches from city councilmember Brent Cromley and Women’s and Gender Studies Center Director Jennifer Lynn.
"We also have a number of trans students on campus who wanted to share their stories about life on campus and Montana," Reverend Welch says.
Several faith-based groups are co-sponsoring the event: Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Billings Grace United Methodist Church, United Campus Ministry at MSUB, Billings First Congregational Church and Bethlehem Lutheran.
"Because faith is used so often to denigrate people based on sexual orientation and gender identity it becomes even more imperative for faith communities to say now we won’t accept that, we have a vision of human flourishing that welcomes people regardless of sexuality and gender," Welch said.
TransVisible Montana and MSUB Women’s and Gender Studies Center also collaborated on organizing the event.
Wednesday’s vigil will be secular. Grace United Methodist Church will have a service surrounding Transgender Awareness Week on November 23.
The University of Montana in Missoula will also observe Transgender Day of Remembrance November 20 at 7 P.M. at the University Center.