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Vigil for Nex Benedict and other victims

Audio from the vigil to honour Nex Benedict and other victims of non-binary and trans violence. The vigil took place in Civic Square at 7pm on 7 March 2024. A special thank you to the organisers and speakers for allowing this event to be recorded and shared. Note the minute-of-silence has been shortened for this recording.

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Organized to honor those lost to non-binary and transgender violence, the vigil features a series of speakers who share their thoughts, fears, and hopes. The recording opens with a traditional Māori acknowledgment of the deceased, setting a tone of respect and remembrance. Rosie, one of the organizers, touches on the importance of remembering those who paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights, likening the current struggles to the beginnings of a revolution. This sentiment underscores the vigil's dual nature: a space for mourning and a rallying cry for change.

The speakers, many of whom identify as queer, trans, and genderfluid, share personal stories and reflections on the impact of transphobia and violence in their lives and communities. They express a collective fear for their safety, triggered by instances of violence both locally and internationally, notably the death of Nex Benedict. This fear is balanced by a strong sense of community and a determination to fight for a world where being queer or trans is not a death sentence.

One recurring theme is the importance of visibility and representation, especially for queer youth seeking affirmation and hope in a world that often rejects them. The speakers advocate for the rights and dignity of trans individuals, emphasizing that queer rights are human rights. The acknowledgment of the intersectionality of trans issues with sex work, racial identity, and colonialism further enriches the discussion, highlighting the complexity and depth of the challenges faced by the trans community.

The reading of the names of non-binary and trans individuals lost to violence in 2024 serves as a powerful moment of collective mourning and a stark reminder of the vigil's urgency. This act of remembrance is both a tribute to those lost and a call to action to prevent further tragedies. The organizers and speakers collectively express a desire for change, emphasizing the need for solidarity, activism, and a rejection of fear in the face of adversity.

The recording concludes with reflections on the strength and resilience of the queer community, despite the ongoing threats to their safety and well-being. The calls for action and solidarity, coupled with personal testimonies, paint a vivid picture of a community united in grief but determined to fight for a future where trans and non-binary individuals can live without fear of violence.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:7th March 2024
Location:Civic Square / Te Ngākau, Wellington
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