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Candlelight Vigil held in honour of Brianna Ghey

Hundreds gather in Marischal College after tragic death of 16-year-old

By Kani Barzani

Photo credit: S.O.


On the 11th of February, Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl, was found in Linear Park in Culcheth, Cheshire with stab wounds. She was later pronounced dead on the scene. Since her murder, two teenagers, a boy and a girl, of age 15 have been charged and are set to go to court.


Brianna Ghey’s death has sparked nationwide support and mourning by the UK’s LGBTQ+ and other affiliated communities. On Saturday, 18th February, at sunset, hundreds gathered in Marischal College in Aberdeen to honour her life by lighting candles, and leaving flowers and hand-written cards.

As a moment of silence was held after speeches were made, the colours of the trans flag, along with other posters of support, could be seen raised high in honour. One of the four organisers, Guy Ingerson, stated his appreciation for the support shown at the vigil on Saturday, going on to say, ‘... it's good to see so many people stand with the trans community and the wider LGBTQ community because we know the context in which this murder happened and the persecution of trans people both in the media and by certain politicians and the vilification of LGBT people in our culture.’


He went on: ‘... We don't know exactly what the full situation surrounding [Ghey’s] murder [was], but we do know [the] context and I think it's really important to acknowledge that. I really want to thank everybody who came today to pay their respects to Brianna. And we really need to all make sure that this tragedy never happens to anybody else…”


When asked why this vigil is a significant act of support, another of the organisers, Mae Diansangu, stated, ‘... for years I've been following the horrible upward trajectory of really aggressive transphobia and [by] extension homophobia and biphobia…’


She went on to comment that five to ten years ago, an average person didn’t have strong opinions on the transgender community, but now, due to media coverage, trans people are often seen in a negative light. She said, ‘.. of course they've heard about trans prisoners, trans rapists, that’s what they heard about, but they didn't hear about a 16 year old girl who was murdered for just existing. They didn't know that it was because she was trans and that is what the huge problem is, that there is a big gap.’


‘... We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that ultimately a young girl has died and her family can't even mourn her without this huge media coverage and all the horrible things that will be said about her and the way she'll be dead-named… I think that's really important to remember that [these] are human beings, a child.’


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