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Vigil held in Sudbury as part of Trans Day of Remembrance


It was a moving scene inside the downtown branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library on Monday as dozens gathered to mark the Trans Day of Remembrance.

Several organizations gathered to hold a vigil for those who lost their lives as part of anti-transgender violence and discrimination.

"We are at an interesting point in history," said Kyelle Bine of Fierte Sudbury Pride.

"I think a lot of folks know the struggles that 2SLGBTQ folks have faced for many, many years. I think a lot of folks don’t realize that a lot of those struggles still continue."

Bine said Trans Day of Remembrance is as much about honouring those who have been injured or hurt as a result of transphobic violence as it is recognizing those acts of violence are still happening today.

"Trans people are still here, we still exist and we need to live together as a community," said Bine.

Over the course of the vigil, the 321 names of Trans Murder Monitoring Report who were reported to have been murdered over the past year were read out loud.

It tracks murders that were reported in the media but officials also said it's important to note that the list isn't comprehensive given many are reported under the correct name, their trans identity or race.

E.R., a gender queer trans person, was among the first to share their story.

"My name is E.R. and I just want to say that there is a lot of emotion at the surface," they said.

"I've been living in the city since I was eight years old and looking back, I realize I felt like a stranger within my circles growing up, within my home and within my own identity."

"I'm standing in front of you today and I'm alive. Those were the first words that came to mind in writing this message for tonight. I have to say that I kind of struggle in finding the words to bring to you today, I think it's kind of a personal journey for one to understand themselves and all the versions of themselves," E.R. added.

It was a moving scene inside the downtown branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library on Monday as dozens gathered to mark the Trans Day of Remembrance. (Ian Campbell/CTV News)

The vigil also heard from Eli, an 18-year old trans male who revealed he felt kind of out of place given most of the trans people he knows had a harder journey than himself.

"Although it's incredibly important to honour and remember the trans people lost, it's even more important to take care of the ones we still have," said Eli.

"Within the city, I've met so many smart and caring members of the community, it seems everyone has the same greater goal, which is to take care of one another."

Eli recalled a moment when he had attended a counter-protest over a far-right movement that was making its way across the country. He said he was met with mockery and disgust from adults from the other side.


"On our side, I felt the physical presence of so many adults that surrounded us. If someone with a misspelled sign would start to glare you at, 40-year-old man would start leering at your or posturing like an angry peacock, a wave of older queer adults would rush in from behind me, coming out of nowhere," he said. "While all this was happening, they were still letting me speak."

The vigil ended with the lighting of three candles.

The event was hosted by Reseau Access Network and Fierte Sudbury Pride along with Pride Laurentian, the Greater Sudbury Public Library, Northern Ontario Pride Connection and the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy. Top Stories

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