Brianna Ghey vigil pelted with homophobic abuse by thugs in balaclavas: ‘F**k LGBT, f**k you all’
A vigil for trans teenager Brianna Ghey was interrupted when homophobic abuse was hurled at a gathering of mourners in Birmingham.
The vigil followed dozens of candlelit events around the country to remember the 16 year old, who was found with fatal stab wounds in Linear Park, Culcheth, on 11 February.
Ghey died at the scene and a boy and a girl, both 15 and both from Leigh, have been charged with murder. A trial date has been set for 10 July.
On Friday (17 February), hundreds of people gathered in Birmingham’s gay village – outside the Hippodrome – to stand in solidarity with the trans community and pay their respects to Ghey.
However, the sombre vigil was temporarily disrupted when a group of individuals started yelling abuse at the mourners.
Footage taken at the scene shows the group, who covered their faces with hoodies, sunglasses and balaclavas, shouting: “F**k LGBTQ” and “F**k LGBTQ rights.”
In the footage, those attending the vigil can be heard telling the homophobes “you have no place here” and “no one’s telling you to be here”.
Others can be heard responding to bigots by telling them to “F**k off.”
Another video shared on Twitter showed the moment local trans activist Eva Echo was interrupted by another group shouting” “F*** LGBT, f*** you all”, during an interview.
Speaking to I Am Birmingham at the scene following the incident, Echo said: “That’s exactly why we need to come together.
“There’s hate out there. People aren’t born with so much hate, that hate is learned and picked up. So, the more that we can be visible, the more that we can educate, the more we can stamp out hate completely,” she said.
Since Brianna Ghey’s death, thousands of people have turned out for vigils across the UK and Ireland in cities and towns, including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Ghey’s home town of Warrington.
One trans woman, who attended a vigil in Cardiff, described the situation for trans people as “terrifying”.
She said: “I already fear walking through Bute Park alone at night, now I won’t even attempt it. Being scared to leave your home out of fear of hate is exhausting and it makes me grieve that we have to live like this as a community.
“Whether Brianna’s death was the result of a hate crime or not, we have lost a young life, which is always a tragedy. I will be attending the vigil to remember Brianna and all the trans lives we have lost.
“I just want to be me. I just want to be safe”, she told ITV Wales.
‘Beautiful, witty and hilarious’
A family statement 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 [who] 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.”
A statement from Ghey’s school, Birchwood Community High, said: “We are shocked and truly devastated to hear of the death of Brianna.
“This is understandably a very difficult and distressing time for many, and we will do our utmost to support our pupils and wider school community.”
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