For Trans Day of Resilience/Remembrance, organizers uplift community care

Evanston+Public+Library.+EPL+co-sponsored+its+first+annual+virtual+Trans+Day+of+Resilience%2FRemembrance+Friday.

Daily file photo by Owen Stidman

Evanston Public Library. EPL co-sponsored its first annual virtual Trans Day of Resilience/Remembrance Friday.

Maia Spoto, Development and Recruitment Editor

Evanston Public Library partnered with Evanston Township High School students, Northwestern’s Rainbow Alliance and community organizers Friday to virtually host its first annual Trans Day of Resilience/Remembrance. 

The evening honored the memory of transgender and gender non-conforming people killed by anti-transgender violence, and provided a space for community healing, Halka, the exhibits and creative programming library assistant, said. 

“I really enjoyed the focus on the future,” ze said. “And on building a more fertile ground for people to grow… a fertile ground for not only trans-inclusive but also non-cisnormative, beautiful, gender-expansive community. ”

At the gathering, participants read the names of the at least 37 transgender and gender non-conforming people violently killed since the start of 2020, as reported by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. They also read poems from the Transgender Law Center’s #LoveLettersToTransPeople series, engaged with guided stretching and meditations, and shared personal stories about their relationships with Evanston institutions.

Dori Carter, external president of Rainbow Alliance, said the evening marked a powerful convergence of LGBTQ+ community between Northwestern residents and Evanston students. 

“It was so significant that we were just all present with each other,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “Stretching with one another. Sitting in those moments of silence together… there was a lot of gratitude for one another, and hope for the sense of community in Evanston to be stronger and more resilient.”

Carter said people felt engaged, seen and moved at Friday’s event. She said she looks forward to carrying that energy forward as Rainbow Alliance and EPL partner again to host a Trans Day of Visibility event in the spring.

ETHS senior Nora Miller co-wrote a feature in The Evanstonian alongside ETHS junior Eden Drajpuch to outline the day’s history and state support for the TGNC community at ETHS. Organizers read Miller and Drajpuch’s piece at the event. 

“This day was really important, and it’s important for people to reflect on what we need to work on,” Miller told The Daily. “But for me, waking up and being who I am is an act of resilience … it’s not a one-day thing.”

In the article, Miller and Drajpuch committed to challenging cisnormativity in their newsroom. Miller told The Daily they’re bolstering support networks within their leadership team to welcome TGNC staffers. 

Additionally, they’ve implemented a series of monthly equity workshops equipping reporters to understand and write about the intersectionality of race and gender. 

“It doesn’t matter how you identify, as long as you really understand where you’re coming at an article, or how you’re telling someone else’s story,” Miller said. 

In December, EPL will hold a third-floor exhibit of posters highlighting transgender resilience, and Halka said they are planning programming to continue intersectionally uplifting the TGNC community in the coming months. 

“We want this to be the beginning of Evanston-specific queer and trans voices coming together in a formal way,” ze said. “I’m sure that’s already happening in a lot of informal ways. But coming together more overtly, and celebrating.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @maia_spoto 

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