Friends and members of San Francisco’s Radical Faeries held a vigil in Duboce Park yesterday for Bryan “Feather” Higgins, who was killed in an attack that is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Higgins was taken off of life support at 3:33pm yesterday as balloons were released in the park.
Higgins was found unconscious Sunday morning in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. “At this time the family would like to keep private yet we want to express our extreme gratitude for the kindness and support,” Higgin’s uncle Steve Horton said in a statement on Wednesday. “Bryan ‘Feather’ Lynn Higgins was a very spiritual, kind, caring, loving individual and we are all sad that he has been taken from this earth far too soon.” Higgins’ family, including his husband since last year, Brian Haggerty, and friends held a vigil in his honor at 3:33 p.m.; the exact time family had said they would be removing him from life support.
Hundreds of mourners at Duboce Park, near Duboce Avenue and Noe Street stood in a massive circle that covered nearly half the park as Higgins was pronounced dead. They stood silently except for the sounds of occasional sobs, children playing at a nearby playground and the warm breeze filling the trees. The grief of some mourners was so pronounced they were barely able to stand, and had to be supported by the arms of friends standing at each side. A tent was erected on top of a large rainbow flag lying in the center of the circle where mourners left flowers and other gifts. The smell of burning sage filled the air. Higgins described himself on his Facebook profile as a “starving artist” who worked at Rosenburg Delicatessen at 276 Noe St., only a few blocks from where he was found.
Police are seeking a suspect in the attack but only described him as a “white man in his 20s or 30s wearing a grey sweater.”