Day of Remembrance brings Michiana community together

In a sign of solidarity, many communities within the Michiana area held vigils and services for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday.  For people at South Bend's Zion United Church of Christ, it was a way to build a stronger bond. 

"There are many, many people in our world, that by the mere nature of who they really are, are always victims of harassment," says Pastor William Wildey.  He was one of the many that helped organized the service, because he believes its necessary.  

"When it comes to the transgender community, there is an inordinate amount of violence against them," he adds.

And for those within the transgender community, like Cole Hirschy-Kinsey, it's a greatly appreciated alliance.

"To me, it means a lot that the community is having this," he says.

Hirschy-Kinsy is a transgender man.  Although this isn't his first time attending a Remembrance Day event, he says its still very powerful. 

"We're able to be remembered for we are," Hirschy-Kinsy adds. "And put it out in the world that it is not okay to hurt us or kill us because we are who we are."

Pastor Wildey and Hirschy-Kinsy agree that the event is so much more than remembering the past. 

"The hope is, as a global community, that we begin to realize that people are just people," says Pastor Wildey. "That love is love. And that we just try to be good to each other." 

Together, a united front. To show that something good, can come from something unimaginable.

"Everyone's coming together for such an awesome thing," says Hirschy-Kinsy.  "I know it's brought out of such horrible, horrible things, but to be able to remember those people and respect them."

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