With November’s Anti-bullying Month and Sophie’s 30th birthday, we thought it would be a great time to pay Sophie tribute, reflect and remember why it is important to support and understand alternative sub-cultures.
Today would have been Sophie’s 30th birthday. A kind, caring and creative girl who was proud to be different, Sophie expressed her individuality through her sense of style, identifying as a Goth. Today, as always, we remember the happy girl, content in the three-year relationship with boyfriend Rob and pay tribute to a girl who wasn’t afraid to embrace the unorthodox.
Sophie’s mother, Sylvia Lancaster told us: “Sophie always had a quirky personality. She was very strong willed and intelligent. She was vegetarian from a young age, painted, wrote poetry and was a voracious reader. From very early on she identified with the underdog and if she felt someone was being bullied for whatever reason she would stick up for them. She was also extremely funny and had a great sense of humour.
She was at a good point in her life; blossoming into a lovely young woman. She had gone through some turbulent times as a teenager and it was lovely to see her happy and confident. She was going to start a degree course in English in September 2007. Of course this would have been ideal given her love of the English language, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be an English teacher or a Youth worker.
When she was younger, Sophie rebelled against the clothes I would buy for her and more often than not would wear a grey t shirt and trackie bottoms and a pair of old trainers she was at her most comfortable in these types of clothes. Once she started high school she met other young people who she could identify with and started to dress in gothic clothes. She first started by wearing dog collars and cuffs this soon translated into dying her hair black and wearing more alternative clothing. It was great to see her becoming herself.” Sylvia Lancaster, 2016
On 11th August 2007, Sophie and her boyfriend Robert were brutally attacked by a group of youths described as ‘a pack of wild animals’. As police arrived at the scene, both Sophie and Robert had been attacked to the point that professionals were unable to identify the gender of the two. They were taken to hospital where they laid unresponsive and in a critical condition. Robert miraculously made a full recovery but unfortunately, the extent of Sophie’s injuries lead to her passing, two weeks after the horrific attack.
As a regular visitor of the Whitby Goth Weekend, Sophie’s story left a huge impact on Goth culture and with the second of the twice-yearly Whitby Goth Weekends at the start of this month, November’s Anti-bullying Month and Sophie’s 30th Birthday today, we spare an extra thought in remembrance of Sophie, especially around this time of year.
The founding principles of Illamasqua come primarily from the inspiration of alternative expression at WGW, with the name ‘Illamasqua’, coming from a combination of the words ‘illusion’ and ‘masquerade’. Illamasqua work with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to promote the importance of diversity, uniqueness and individuality; these are what keep the world ever-changing & societies tolerant of each other.We continually encourage the support and importance of understanding and acceptance of alternative sub-cultures.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation works to educate in schools about the consequences of bullying and works with thirteen police forces around the country to date to widen the hate crime legislation in Sophie’s name in order to prevent similar tragedies.
We couldn’t think of anyone better to be our Illamuse this month than the beautiful Sophie Lancaster.With November’s Anti-bullying Month and Sophie’s 30th birthday, we thought it would be a great time to pay Sophie tribute, reflect and remember why it is important to support and understand alternative sub-cultures.
Together we remember Sophie Lancaster and together we stand, continuing work to Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere. To see how you can support The Sophie Lancaster Foundation with Illamasqua, please visit: illamasqua.com/s-o-p-h-i-e
Words by Jenna Day