MU students gather to honor lives lost to transphobic violence

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COLUMBIA - MU students will gather Wednesday to honor and remember lives lost to transphobic violence.

Transphobic violence is any act of violence committed against someone who identities as transgender. MUs LGBTQ Resource Center is holding the event as part of Trans Awareness Week.

"We're hosting a ‘reading of the names' and then a vigil," LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struble said.

A 2013 National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report on hate violence shows there were 2,001 acts of anti-LGBTQ violence. Of those acts, transgender women and men are disproportionately affected.

The document reports 18 hate crime homicides took place in 2013. Of those, 72 percent were transgender women. More than two-thirds of victims were transgender women of color.

Struble said one reason Wednesday's vigil is important is because people need to be aware of these higher rates of violence against trans people.

"As we raise awareness about transgender lives it is important to note, and sad to note, that transgendered people have such higher rates at the risk of violence," Stuble said. "We lose so many people who transgender to violence every single year because of the hatred put on people who mess with gender more than other people do."

The LGBTQ Trans Awareness Week will continue with events until Saturday.