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Sheffield holds candlelit vigil for teenager Brianna Ghey

Hundreds of locals gathered to mourn the tragic death of Brianna Ghey at the Sheffield Peace Gardens last night.

Brianna Ghey was a 16 year old transgender girl who was stabbed to death in a park in Cheshire on Saturday.

Vigils for Brianna organised by the LGBTQ+ community are being held all over the country. The City Centre outside the Peace Gardens twinkled with the candles and flowers that grievers had laid down for Brianna, but amongst the beauty and sadness was anger for the hostility seen against the trans community.

One person who attended the vigil said: “The attack on Brianna was an attack on every person who doesn’t fit with gender binary and conformity.”

Signs stating “Rest in Power” and “Trans Rights Now” lined the fountains as speeches were given in remembrance.

Heather Paterson, CEO of Sayit, a Sheffield based LGBTQ+ charity, who was at the vigil said: “It was really overwhelming how many people were affected, there were people crying but also a lot of anger.

“There were a lot of trans people who it was very close to home for and some young people who were a similar age to Brianna who are going through the same things. It was a very emotional experience.”

Sayit offers support for young LGBTQ+ people aged 11-25 who are experiencing bullying or just want support from like-minded people.

Ms Paterson said: “The death of a child has shaken a lot of people and we have received a lot of messages asking to volunteer. There are so many feelings of helplessness at the moment and people just want to do something.”

Thursday night’s vigil was organised by student campaign group “Sheffield Solidarity Group”. Speaking prior to the event, Finn Birchen, 20, a member of the group, said: “When we see what happened to Brianna, we see ourselves and countless other innocent children like her. “There are so many wonderful trans people who are now living in fear, it is so important for our community to come together against bigotry and hatred in times like this.”

The police have said that all lines of enquiry will be explored when investigating her murder, including hate crime.

Two teenagers have appeared in court charged with her murder.

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