Students with lit candles participated in a vigil Thursday night in honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The event, hosted by SpeakOut on the HUB lawn, began with more than 10 students lighting candles and reading from placards bearing the images and stories of transgender people or their allies who were killed as a result of their sexual identities.
"It was nice that we all kind of got together, we kind of get caught up in a lot of the big things like raids and rallies and some of the most important moments come from standing in a small circle," Alex Yates, co-president of SpeakOut, said. "The stories we all read, they all have their own character, their own part that touches you."
Tim Tusing, a student visiting for a semester from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), said he was impressed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at Penn State.
"It's really great that people come together for this kind of thing," he said. "I was originally worried because I thought it would be hard to find gay friends with whom I could talk about gay things."
Tusing said the LGBT community at Penn State is vastly different from the LGBT community at RPI.
"There is no significant gay community there. It was so hard to find support for things like that," Tusing said. "At Penn State, most people know about the community. It's very welcoming."
Yates said he believes awareness is the most important thing members of the Penn State community could take away from the vigil and to make lines of communication stronger between different groups.
"I think it's just awareness that is important," he said. "When it comes to gender identity ... it's just kind of not talked about."