Brianna Ghey: Candle-lit vigil held in home village near where trans girl was found killed
Hundreds of people gathered for a candle-lit vigil held in the home village of Brianna Ghey close to where the teen was stabbed to death last week.
Brianna, a 16-year-old trans girl, was stabbed to death in a park in Warrington on 11 February. Two teens, both aged 15, have been charged with murder and are due to stand trial in July.
Crowds of mourners attended a vigil for Brianna in Culcheth, Cheshire – the trans teen’s home village – on Friday (17 February) evening. Floral displays and candles were laid out in a memorial under a tree, and many attending wore shirts with a photo of Brianna and the slogan “Rest In Power”.
During the vigil, the crowd sang “Over The Rainbow”, and pubs and shops in the village turned off their lights as a sign of respect.
Tricia Anderton, the secretary of Culcheth Village choir, told the Guardian that the group was “asked specifically to sing ‘Over The Rainbow’” and that it was “so lovely to hear everyone going in”.
“We are a very close community in Culcheth, with many of our choir members having lived in the village for many years and this awful tragedy has touched the hearts of everyone,” Anderton added.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and his daughter, Annie, attended the memorial to Brianna Ghey.
“Here to remember Brianna, send our love to her family and support to young trans people everywhere,” he tweeted.
Several vigils have been held over the past week for Brianna Ghey as thousands across the UK called for justice and mourned the teen’s death. More memorials are planned over the weekend, including another in Warrington on Saturday afternoon.
Brianna’s family led the tributes and remembered the teen as 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,” they said.
“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.”
Her family later said they have been “overwhelmed” by the “support, positivity and compassion” they’ve received from across the country, police said.
A fundraiser for Brianna Ghey’s family has now reached more than £107,000 in donations less than a week after it was set up.
Several of Brianna’s friends told Vice that they were heartbroken that the trans teen was murdered.
A friend described Brianna as the “sweetest 16-year-old girl who was a beacon of positivity”. Another said: “If Bri would have wanted anything from her passing, it would be change.”
News of Brianna Ghey’s death rocked the LGBTQ+ community in the UK and abroad, with queer people and allies alike left “heartbroken” by the tragic circumstances surrounding her passing.
PinkNews learned that charities supporting the LGBTQ+ community have seen a surge in calls and referrals to their helplines in the days following Brianna Ghey’s death.
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