Red, heart-shaped balloons. A Valentine’s day staple became a symbol of mourning as they floated above the crowd gathered to remember Brianna Ghey.
Brianna, a 16-year-old trans girl, was murdered in Warrington on Saturday, February 11, in what is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Two 15-year-olds have since been charged with her murder.
Around one hundred people, many from Bristol’s LGBTQ+ community, assembled on College Green on Tuesday evening to pay respects, console one another and call for an end to the violence which has taken too many lives.
According to Stop Hate UK, there were 2,630 hate crimes against trans people reported to the police between 2020 and 2021, an increase of 16% on the previous year.
This represents only a small fraction of the total, however, as further surveys revealed that 88% of transgender people did not report hate crimes they experience, with many feeling the police response is inadequate.
Images: Wong Yat Him