‘Say her name, Brianna Ghey’ and ‘Protect trans youth’ slogans echoed in central London.
Almost 1,000 people gathered for a vigil in memory of the 16-year-old outside the Department for Education this evening, blocking both sides of Great Smith Street.
Many of those at the event were teenagers or young adults who wanted to pay their respects for the ‘strong and fearless’ transgender girl who was stabbed to death on Saturday afternoon.
Protesters carried placards reading ‘Blood is on your hands’ ‘Rest in power’ and ‘Trans rights are human rights’ as they called for justice for trans lives.
Brianna, a popular TikToker from Birchwood, in Warrington, was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Culcheth Linear Park.
Many in the LGBTQ community have been left heartbroken since her death, and some of those attending the vigil in Westminster had tears in their eyes as they lit candles in her memory.
Friends have revealed Brianna had to deal with transphobic bullies, and for many members of the trans community this has only intensified their personal trauma.
‘Brianna was a girl, not a woman, so a child was murdered,’ one of the speakers at the vigil told the restless crowd.
‘They say, let kids be kids. Well, I couldn’t be a kid, I lost my youth to transphobia.
‘I spent my youth fighting for the right to be on testosterone. They argue about kids making permanent changes of their bodies.
‘Dying seems like a pretty permanent change to your body. The Tories should be scared of us, Labour too.
‘Trans people are a group of people with nothing to lose, trans kids especially. We will mourn our dead and fight back for the living.’
Their speech was received with a round of applause as people waved light blue, light pink and white flags for trans rights.
Protesters then began chanting ‘LGB with the T’, referring to the deep exclusion of trans people by some members of the LGBTQ community in the UK.
Another speaker said: ‘I am tired, I am angry and I am fed up. We can stand here every day for the next two weeks talking and nothing will get done.
‘Nothing will happen if we just stand here talking. At the end of the day, what did Brianna do to get murdered? She sat in a park and she made TikToks. She was 16.
‘This will never end unless we decide that talking is not enough. I appreciate the allies here, but do something, stand up for us.’
Like them, members of organisations like Sisters Uncut, and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants also called for people to join a campaign for trans rights.
A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with Brianna’s murder and remanded into youth detention.
Cheshire Police have said they are trying to work out a motive for the attack and locate the murder weapon.
Detectives confirmed yesterday they are investigating whether her killing was a hate crime, alongside other lines of inquiry.
It comes days after they had stressed there was ‘no evidence’ her gender identity was a factor.
The vigil is one of many taking place this week across more than 30 cities in the UK.
Though the atmosphere remained peaceful, messages against transphobia in the media and the government were loudly expresses.
Further vigils are set to take place tomorrow in Sheffield, Chatham, Glasgow and Cardiff.
Events have also been announced in Newcastle, Lincoln, Derby, Birmingham and Oxford over the weekend.
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