Surrounded by burning candles, a crowd of UT students and faculty gathered in the Humanities and Social Sciences amphitheater to remember and honor those that have passed on.
Wednesday marked International Transgender Remembrance Day. Sponsored by Lambda Student Union, transgender victims' names were read in tandem with a candlelight vigil.
The event opened with an introduction by the president of Lambda, Michael Porter.
"Hundreds of trans people have died because of being who they are," Porter said. "Nov. 20 is the day we celebrate to commemorate those lives that we have lost due to hate."
Several students read aloud the names and causes of death of victims in 2013 alone. The causes ranged from shootings to stoning, and the ages varied from full-grown adults to a 13-year-old child.
Vice president of Lambda, Brooke King, junior in biology and psychology, wanted the event to bring LGBT students and allies together, raising awareness of transgender issues.
"Other identities in the community sometimes don't recognize these issues," King said. "Our aim is to foster a sense of reflection, concern and awareness for the people that are affected."
Joel Kramer, assignment manager of the Housing Office, came to the event to show his support.
"'Trans' people are a group that doesn't always have a voice," Kramer said. "Anything we can do to show support is always impactful."
As faculty staff adviser for Lambda, Kramer said he believes such events signify the beginning of a cultural shift.
"This event shows that we still have a ways to go but we are taking positive steps," Kramer said. "Every time we do something like this, it raises awareness that these are people that need our help, or at least our acceptance."
UT's Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Rickey Hall, also attended.
"I think it's important to be in community with the students," Hall said. "They remember the folks who have been victims, or even killed, for being who they are.
"... These events bring a spotlight for others who might not be aware of the victimization that takes place in some of our communities."
A student identifying as transgender, who wished to remain anonymous, found the event comforting, but difficult to witness.
"You hear all of these terrible ways that people have been killed because of their gender identity," the student said. "It's difficult to hear because you think, 'What if that's me?'"