Nicola Sturgeon leads tributes to ‘force of nature’ and LGBT+ campaigner who died suddenly, aged 39

leeze lawrence

Loving tributes are being paid to the leading Scots LGBT+ campaigner Leeze Lawrence, who has sadly passed away at the age of 39.

Lawrence was found by police on Friday (11 June) after friends and family were unable to contact her.

The tireless advocate had campaigned for the equal rights of minorities, particularly the trans community, as a key member of the SNP’s official LGBT+ wing Out for Independence.

She was also a journalist who’d worked for the BBC as a producer and created a number of films documenting the lives of queer people.

In a statement on Monday (14 June), Out for Independence described Lawrence as a “force of nature” and said the group was “heartbroken”.

“Leeze was a force of nature – loud, fierce, supportive and committed,” they said. “Her life has been the kind of whirlwind she was, and she brought her vast network of contacts and experiences to Out for Independence to help us make new connections, build better policies and build shared solidarity between groups.

“She was dedicated to learning, becoming a better ally, and a better activist. In the last few months of her life, she was learning from GRT communities and we were planning with them the best way we could support LGBTQ+ Travellers. We hope to be able to continue that work in her memory.”

The group said they would miss her “no nonsense organising with an iron will” along with her incredible compassion for people who were struggling with abuse and harassment.

“There’s no one way to describe her, except to say it has been a privilege to know her, and we miss her.”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon also paid her respects.

“So terribly sorry to hear this dreadful news. Leeze Lawrence was indeed a force of nature – and a force for good,” she tweeted. “My deepest condolences to her family and to all her many friends in Out for Independence, the SNP and beyond.”

The Peterhead branch of the SNP tweeted their condolences and kept their social media channels silent as a mark of respect.

Meanwhile, Lawrence’s family, friends and colleagues shared loving memories of her.

“She was always striving to be a better activist,” said one. “Her memory makes GRA reform and better trans healthcare provision more important than ever.”