By Sophie Braham
The brutal and grisly murder of Mayang Prasetyo in Brisbane last week has seen people all over Australia eager to show their support for the victim.
The UWA Queer Collective, along with other groups around the country, is holding a candlelight vigil on the 21st of October to raise awareness for transgender deaths and the way Mayang’s murder was handled in the media.
Natalia Verne, the Queer Officer for UWA, is unhappy about the way Mayang was portrayed in the media, particularly in Queensland’s Courier Mail newspaper, where she was described in a front page headline as a ‘She Male’.
“I think it was handled really, really poorly. Even after the petition which got 14,000 signatures by the first day it existed… the Courier Mail still refused to apologise,” she said.
The first of the vigils is being held in Brisbane, where Mayang lived, on Friday night.
Speaking at the event is transgendered woman Miranda Sparks, who can’t believe the way Mayang’s murder is being represented in the media.
“How dare they, the Courier Mail especially, use that awful slur to describe her,” she said.
“The fact that she’s trans, the fact that she was a sex worker, the fact that she’s a person of colour only pepper the story of what is a really brutal murder.”
The Courier Mail has since published their apology.
Issues still remain with the way the Courier Mail handled Mayang’s story, and some people are reportedly refusing to accept the apology from the paper.
Some business owners in Brisbane are refusing to sell the newspaper as they say it has ‘sensationalised’ and ‘shamed’ a murder victim.
“They don’t want to associate themselves with this sort of bigotry,” said Miss Sparks.
Perth’s vigil for Mayang will take place on the 21st of October in Perth’s Stirling Gardens at 6pm.