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Brianna Ghey: Candlelit vigils held in London, Belfast and Dublin

Rest in power, Brianna.

By Jamie Tabberer

A picture of Brianna Ghey from her social media, left, and an image from last night's vigil in London (Image: Jack Pengelly)

Thousands of LGBTQs and allies have stepped out in tribute to Brianna Ghey, the teenager who was fatally stabbed in Cheshire last week.

A 15-year-old girl from Warrington and a 15-year-old boy from nearby Leigh have been charged with Brianna’s murder.

Cheshire Police initially said they did not believe the attack was a hate crime but was “targeted”. 

However, on Tuesday (14 February) detectives said all lines of inquiry were being explored including hate crime.

Candlelit vigils have taken place in London, Liverpool, Bristol, Dublin, Belfast and beyond in recent days, in remembrance of the 16-year-old who died on Saturday (11 February 2023).

Crowds gathered outside the Department for Education building in London (Image: Jack Pengelly)

At last night’s vigil in London, organised by The Rainbow Project, a minute’s silence was held in reflection of Brianna, whose friends say was “bullied” at school for years.

In one of her final videos on her now-deactivated TikTok channel, Brianna said she was “excluded from school.”

The vigil took place outside the Department for Education building in Whitehall.

Attendees held slogans reading ‘protect trans youth’ and ‘say her name’ – the latter in reference to Brianna being misgendered by some members of the press and on her death certificate.

Mourners on Great Smith Street in London (Image: Jack Pengelly)

Protestors were also heard calling for a totally inclusive queer community, chanting: “LGB with the T.”

“Brianna was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her”

In their tribute, Brianna’s family called her 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,” they added.

Candles at the vigil in London (Image: Jack Pengelly)

The Rainbow Project’s Leo Lardie addressed crowds in Dublin, reportedly saying: “Usually I am known as a man who is never at a loss for words, but today I truly and utterly am.

“There are no words to describe how hopelessly tragic and keenly painful the senseless death of a young girl like Brianna is.

“We are here tonight to show our deepest sympathies for her family, friends and the trans and non-binary community of the UK all of whom are left bereft by her sudden death.

“The UK can feel like an increasingly frightening place for trans and non-binary people to exist.”