November 20, 2009
>GLSEN Ambassador Shares Thoughts On Transgender Day of Remembrance
Abi Peña is a GLSEN Student Amabassador from Connecticut who has been working with GLSEN for two years.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day to reflect about those who were the victim of a hate crime and died, which will hopefully result in actions taken to make people and communities more accepting of transgender individuals.
I would like others to learn about transgender discrimination, and the ridiculously unfair and inhuman things done to them that go unreported. I want young students to be motivated to make change in their school, their communities, and their hearts. For TDOR, my school’s QueerSA (Bard College at Simon’s Rock) had a vigil on the steps of our music center and read aloud the names of people who were murdered for not fitting the gender binary.
We also put up fliers around campus showing facts about transgender assaults, transgender deaths, and stories of people who died and how they were murdered. If I could give anybody advice who is struggling with their gender identity, I would tell them to find a support system, whether it be a youth group, friend, even a pet; the worst feeling is thinking no one understands and that no one will accept you.
Find ways to connect yourself to outlets accepting of fluid gender identities. I personally know many people who took into consideration the openness and acceptance of GLBT people when looking for colleges to go to. There are people out there who have resources to help those who have been kicked out or lost their way, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find them.