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Community gathers to grieve loss of Petawawa teen Trinity Poil

May 16, 2019

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The community that has followed the story of Trinity Poil for the past three months came together Tuesday evening to grieve the loss of a special young lady with a beautiful soul.

It was just Tuesday morning that police confirmed everyone’s worst fears – a body which was discovered in the Ottawa River May 5 near Pembroke was Trinity, the Petawawa teenager who went missing in mid-February.

Since the mysterious disappearance during a terrible snowstorm, the family searched for Trinity, putting up posters and taking to social media to get her face out there in the hopes that someone had seen her somewhere.

Trinity’s mother Tammy Poil and stepfather Patrick Reddick attended at the beginning of the vigil to place candles on the table beside a photo of Trinity at the front of the room, but they did not stay, returning home to spend time with their younger boys.

When Joanne Brooks, the executive director of the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County, and Jill Holroyd of Pflag Renfrew County and Pembroke Pride and LQBTQ+ ally, heard the news that Trinity had been found, they mobilized quickly with others to organize a vigil at Valour School where Trinity was a student. They felt it was important to create a safe space where people could come together, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community who often feel marginalized, noted Holroyd, who has a transgender child.

About 75 people attended the emotional informal gathering, which included music, flowers and candlelight, with some taking the microphone to share stories about their classmate and friend, while others who had never met Trinity felt compelled to speak.

The resounding message was that Trinity had a spark, a smile the could light up the room, an infectious energy and joy and the confidence to be herself as she lived unapologetically as a transgender teen.

One student shared that Trinity inspired her to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community, while another transgender teen admitted he wished he could have talked to Trinity more and ask her more questions.

The sibling of a transgender teen said she remembers Trinity’s love for skipping in the hallways and most of all her confidence to be herself without fear of others.

“Trinity was the best of all of us,” she said. “She will never be forgotten.”

Tracey Serviss, Trinity’s support worker and Poil family spokeswoman, spent a lot of time with the teen, saying they were an unlikely pair but somehow they just clicked.

“I was just a small chapter in Trinity’s life, but she was a huge chapter in mine,” she said. “Her differences made such a difference in my life and I’m sad our story is over.

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