A Community Mourns, The System Continues: Lane County Residents Light a Path to Hope and Reconciliation.

Photo-Editorial of one community mourning two losses and institutional austerity

As fall ends and winter rises, Lane County residents with candles in hand lit up the dark night in remembrance of lives lost, rage at a system of cruelty, and fueled the spark of hope. When trans lives are under attack and houseless neighbors are at risk, this city responds.

Thursday morning harbored the death of a local elder — a man experiencing houselessness and faced with a lack of resources. His death was not the first this year nor will it be the last in Lane county as Oregon grows colder and darker by the day. Despite state and municipal services, dedicated mutual-aid groups, and the goodwill of Eugene residents; our houseless neighbors are still under attack.

Eugene’s city council, the city manager’s office, and Eugene Police Department continue their rampant use of sweeps, arrests, and policies that violate both federal and state law — along with our city charter. Our government is waging war on our communities most vulnerable and offering little to no reprieve.

Black Thistle Street-Aid, a local mutual aid group and healthcare provider, with additional community members came together to mourn this loss with a candlelight vigil. 

In Oregon, the trans community—and Queer at-large—have two realities, one lamenting our legal and social status as affirmed, protected, and safe. The other is a harsh environment to navigate and exist in, whether it is in a high-school classroom or your own neighborhood. Trans lives are under attack, and not just on a national level, but in our own backyards.

For this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, Lane County residents, in tandem with the Unitarian Universalist Church and TransPonder, lit candles, said prayers, and shared words of hope, loss, and strength in honor of lives lost. 

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