On Sunday night, a vigil was held to commemorate the life of Brianna Ghey, the trans teenager who was stabbed to death in Warrington, at the Radcliffe Camera.
Hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to the sixteen-year old in an event organised by Elliot Cooper-Brooke (co-chair of the SU LBGTQ+ Campaign) and Alana Stewart (co-founder of OxACT (Oxford Against Conversion Therapy)).
Oxford LGBTQ+ Society asked in a post on their Instagram for people to “join us in creating a space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to come together as a community in the light of this tragedy.”
Speakers shared their memories of Brianna, and read poems and pieces of prose reflecting on her life, and the experience of being trans in general.
One speaker said, “we need support from our community now more than ever” and that “trans rights clearly don’t matter in the eyes of the general public.”
Another told Brianna that “we will not forget you and we will keep fighting in your name.”
The atmosphere was solemn, with candles being distributed by event organisers and others bringing trans flags, posters, and flowers. A minute of silence was held.
Chrissie Chevasutt, the Outreach and Development Worker with Transgender, Intersex and non-binary people at St Columba’s Church Oxford, said that Brianna’s death was because of “gender critical feminists” and the “relentless right-wing media.” She also cited figures who engaged in non-violent protest, like Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as examples to inspire the community’s continued fight for rights.
Two fifteen-year olds have been charged with her murder and are due to appear in court in July.
This article has been amended to reflect the fact that OULGBTQ+ Society did not organise the vigil.
Image description: Vigil attendees outside the RadCam, with All Souls College in the background. One individual has the trans flag wrapped around them.
Image credit: Rose Henderson for OxStu