Activist says transphobia is ‘getting louder’ ahead of Cork vigil for Brianna Ghey
A vigil in memory of the trans teen – who was fatally stabbed in the UK last weekend – will take place in Cork on Sunday
An LGBT+ activist has warned that transphobia in Ireland is “getting louder” while the community mourns teen Brianna Ghey killed in the UK last week.
A vigil in memory of the 16-year-old will take place in Cork this Sunday, joining the hundreds who have already gathered in Dublin and Belfast to remember the schoolgirl.
The transgender teen was killed last Saturday in Warrington, a town between Liverpool and Manchester.
Members of the public raised the alarm shortly after 3pm, when Brianna was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Culcheth Linear Park.
A boy and girl (both 15) – who cannot be named because of their age – appeared in a Liverpool court charged with her murder today.
Their trial date has been set for July.
"It’s not good enough to stand by while young people are losing their lives to senseless violence,” said Cork vigil organiser Louise O’Donnell.
"We need to stand alongside all Trans+ people, to show that we feel their pain and that we want better care for all trans youth in this country.”
“We are organising a vigil in memory of Brianna Ghey and all Trans+ people who have had their lives taken from us too soon as a result of transphobia,” activist Saoirse Mackin told sundayworld.com.
"We wanted to create a space for people to grieve who were affected by the news. It’s difficult for people in the trans community when things like this happen,” she said.
“It’s obvious that when verbal or online hate is allowed to escalate it can result in someone being physically assaulted or even killed.
"Especially when active members of the far-right or high profile figures are spreading hateful rhetoric or misinformation about trans people online."
Saoirse came out five years ago, and co-founded Trans+Pride in Cork last year.
She has experienced her own share of online and physical abuse, as have friends – though she says in-person hate is less prominent in Ireland than elsewhere in the world.
"Unfortunately, I don’t see transphobia improving – but getting worse,” she said.
"While society is getting more accepting, it seems this small minority of people spreading hate are getting louder and more verbal.”
She said the pride events are joyful occasions, but it was important to create a community space following the death of Brianna Ghey.
“These are not the set of circumstances we wished to gather under. Last year’s Pride event was a celebration and a protest for care,” she added.
The Cork vigil – organised by Trans+ Pride Cork – will take place at Daunt Square this Sunday at 12.30pm.
"But we feel its important to acknowledge Brianna’s passing. All LGBT+ people and allies are welcome to join, and to bring candles or flags if they wish.”
A fundraiser to support the family of Brianna Ghey is close to reaching £100k.
The teen was described as a "much-loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister” in a statement issued by her family.
“She was a larger-than-life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her.
"Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind,” they added.
"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.”
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