Counseling Services is excited to announce a week-long series of events honoring Transgender Awareness Week, also known as Trans Week of Visibility, taking place from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, 2023. This initiative aims to raise awareness and foster inclusivity for the transgender community.
Some of those events include a poster campaign highlighting current and historical trans and nonbinary individuals. There will also be a combined event with the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility (IDEA) discussing current anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. A peer-led support group will be facilitated by IDEA members to discuss issues for the LGBTQ+ community on Friday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. in the Counseling Services Annex, located within Great Basin Hall. For further details, please view the Counseling Services Events on the University Events Calendar.
The week's events will culminate in a significant vigil ceremony on Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Day of Remembrance, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20, in the Counseling Services Annex.
The ceremony will honor the lives of transgender individuals and bring attention to the importance of continued efforts for equality, acceptance and remembrance.
Counseling Services invites community members, campus allies and advocates to join in commemorating this important week and contributing to the ongoing dialogue surrounding transgender visibility and rights.
Diversity Coordinator in Counseling Services and clinician Dr. Marquez Wilson acknowledges how important this week and the events planned to honor it are.
“It is so important to recognize and celebrate these observances so people in these communities can feel seen and represented,” Wilson said. “We often live in a space where people don’t feel represented. They don’t see themselves in the media, they don’t see examples of themselves doing good things and they don’t see themselves succeeding. These weeks are so important so people can feel seen and feel community and connect with other people.”
The Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Day of Remembrance event will consist of a candlelit exhibit called “The Walk of Candles” featuring photos and bios of individuals lost from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Following the exhibit, there will be a vigil ceremony from 4–6 p.m.
“The Walk of Candles will have photos of all the people that we’ve lost this year due to violence against the transgender community,” Wilson said. “There will be a candle next to each photo. People will be welcomed into the Counseling Services Annex, located in the southwest corner of Great Basin Hall, and encouraged to just be in the space together … notice the faces, notice the people and get to know them a little bit.
“We’ll have short bios next to the photos explaining who they were and how they were important to their community. A little later in the day, we will have the vigil. Speakers will come and talk about why the community is important to them and what it means to them. We will then read out each person's name that we’ve lost and extinguish their candle to represent that while they're no longer here, their lives had great meaning.”
Counseling Services has events to support LGBTQ+ students year-round. They offer multiple services to all students, but they also have clinicians who work with members of the LGBTQ+ community and with those who identify as trans and gender nonconforming. There are many student groups on campus with many diverse experiences and if a student feels that there isn’t a group for them, Wilson encourages students to make one because there are people on campus who would join them.