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Thousands attend London vigil held in honour of murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey

‘If trans kids aren’t safe, then neither are you’


Last night, a vigil was held by Trans Activism UK and Trans Action Block for Brianna Ghey, outside the Department for Education in Westminster.

The vigil, attended by thousands of members of the LGBT community and allies was held to commemorate Brianna’s life, and mourn her in a safe and solemn environment. As part of this environment, speakers asked that no recordings or images were taken of mourners or speakers past a certain point.

Brianna Ghey, described by her family as “beautiful, witty and hilarious”, was a 16-year-old transgender girl who was tragically murdered in a park in Culcheth, Warrington, last Saturday afternoon. Two 15-year-olds have since been arrested in relation to the incident and charged with murder.

Cheshire Police has said that all routes are currently being investigated into Brianna’s murder, including whether or not it was a hate crime. Detectives have urged the public to “avoid speculation online and be wary of sharing misinformation relating to this case.”

Brianna’s death has garnered social media outcry from the trans community in Britain, who have been facing an onslaught of discrimination from the media in recent months.

At the vigil, Ellie, a student from Kingston University, told The London Tab: “As someone queer with trans friends it’s just awful. We were all together sitting around when our friend mentioned what happened. We all went quiet. It’s not about protecting children. More children suffer from bullying and mental health issues for being trans.”

Crowds were led in a chants including “if trans kids aren’t safe, then neither are you”, alongside constant reminders that Brianna was only 16 years old. This was followed by a minute’s silence at 7pm where people were encouraged to raise candles or turn on phone torches.

Aspen, a student from Brunel University, said: “I think the community is starting to get fed up with peaceful protests. There are calls to action and this isn’t enough anymore. I’m not optimistic enough to believe that Brianna’s death will lead to any major change.”

Since her death, tributes have been pouring in online with vigils being held in Brianna’s memory across the country. In a statement released via the police, Brianna’s family said: “Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister. She was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her. Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind.

“The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this extremely difficult time. We would like to thank the police for their support, and witnesses for helping with the investigation. The continuation of respect for privacy is greatly appreciated.”

Another vigil will be held on Saturday at 3pm in Soho Square, London.

Rest in Pride, Brianna Ghey.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story you can contact Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ helpline, on 0300 330 0630 or visit their website. You can also find help through young people’s charity The Mix, and Galop, the LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity. 

Featured image via Paul Grover/Shutterstock.

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