Brianna Ghey; a 16 year old transgender girl, has been murdered in Warrington. A 15 year old boy and a 15 year old girl have been arrested. Police have not yet released a statement regarding motive. Tributes pour in as the UK trans community react.
Brianna Ghey passed away at the scene of a knife attack in a park near her home in Warrington. She is described by her family in a statement shared to social media by local MP Charlotte Nichols as; “strong, fearless and one of a kind.”
A statement from the family of Brianna Ghey. May her memory forever be a blessing ❤️
Please continue to come forward with any information that may assist the police, and avoid online speculation which will be distressing to Brianna's grieving friends and family. pic.twitter.com/64g37ddZlB
— Charlotte Nichols (@charlotte2153) February 13, 2023
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral costs and has exceeded its target. With members of the trans community expressing their shock, sadness and anger over the murder of Brianna Ghey and looking to organise. Including under the hashtag #DignityForBrianna which calls on the UK Government to allow her to be recorded as female on her death certificate.
The British media have received criticism for their reporting on this story. Some chose to seek out the deadname of Brianna Ghey and publicise it – only to later remove it. Other examples of such callous transphobia include initially referring to her as a “teenage girl” before changing that to “teenage transgender” when that information became more widely known.
The Times have restored some of the references to Brianna as a girl and have removed her deadname from the article.https://t.co/fFdDpZOBjB
— Trans Safety Network (@trans_safety) February 13, 2023
Vigils, demonstrations and other support are also being discussed. You can find more information about a vigil from Manchester Trans Rise Up here. Another vigil is being organised at Soho Square in London.
The press also published the username of a Tik-Tok account ran by Brianna Ghey. The account has since been banned though many users have re-uploaded her videos in tribute. A YouTube playlist created by Brianna Ghey was also publicised online and remains publicly accessible at time of writing, it contains some of her favourite music.
Press coverage states that the police currently have no evidence that this crime was motivated by anti-trans hate which has been widely criticised by the trans community. Rumours surrounding a history of Brianna Ghey being bullied have begun circulating however I don’t feel comfortable commenting on this until we have further confirmation.
Everyone in the community is processing the tragic loss of Brianna Ghey differently. Some are organising around it. Others, like myself, are writing about how we feel. Others still are expressing how angry they are and pointing the finger directly at our objectively transphobic politicians and media.
I don’t know what we’re supposed to do when our community is rocked by stories like the murder of Brianna Ghey. I can’t tell you the proper way to process this or how best to use your anger. I can only ask you to be kind to yourself and the transgender people around you, such as by not elevating transphobic perspectives on this – even to argue against them.
Take a moment to grieve, to gather yourself and to prepare for whatever comes next. Take a moment to hug your friends and your family – especially if they’re transgender. Take a moment to live before we have to go back to fighting again. Remind yourself what they took from Brianna Ghey – the chance of a full and happy life – and get ready to fight like hell for it, for you and every transgender adult, teenager and child out there.
Rest in peace Brianna Ghey. You will be remembered.