The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in downtown Boston was dark, save for the dim light of candles held by hundreds of people who attended Sunday evening’s Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil.
Each flame, held in a cup labeled with a name, represented one of the more than 300 transgender individuals--mostly transgender women--who had died this past year.
Many shed tears as volunteers stood up, one by one, to read the names of victims from around the world.
The event is itself a reminder of all the work that is left to be done, according to Mandy Wilkens, cochair of the event’s planning committee.
“Just because we’ve won transgender protections, it’s not enough,” Wilkens said. “There’s still people dying every day due to trans violence.”
Tamra Tucker, the pastor leading the event, opened the program with a greeting, acknowledging the role that some churches have played in harming transgender individuals.
“Please know that here, in this space, you are loved,” Tucker said. “Please know that we believe there is no real God that doesn’t love you fully, completely, and perfectly as you are.”