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‘Protect trans kids’: LGBTQs speak out after fatal stabbing of trans teen Brianna Ghey

"The conservative British press are misgendering her and using her pre-transition name."

By Jamie Tabberer

Brianna Ghey

Monroe Bergdorf, Charlie Craggs, Dr Ranj Singh and other prominent LGBTQ voices have responded with heartbreak and fury following the fatal stabbing of trans teenager Brianna Ghey last weekend.

The 16-year-old was found dead with multiple stab wounds last Saturday [11 Feb 2023] in a park in Warrington, England, 16 miles from Manchester.

According to Warrington Police, detectives have arrested two teenagers – a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, both from the local area – on suspicion of murder. They are currently in police custody.

In a tribute, family members said: “Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister. She was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her.

“Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind.”

Police have said they believe the attack was “targeted” but not “hate-related”, leading to confusion and anger within the LGBTQ community.

“We are burying our loved ones way before their time” – Monroe Bergdorf

Responding to the news, model and activist Monroe Bergdorf said on Instagram: “Investigators have said that this was a targeted attack, but not a hate crime (?) even though they are yet to establish a motive. Even though her parents wrote letters to the school to say that she was being singled out.”

She continued: “Following her death, the conservative British press are misgendering her and using her pre-transition name.

“This incessant and violent culture war that the trans community is being relentlessly subjected to, on both sides of the Atlantic, is having real life consequences on our mental health and physical safety.

“When you advocate for exclusion, erasure and segregation, you are advocating for death, harm and pain. We have seen this all before, yet little seems to have been learned.

“Transphobia costs lives. We are burying our loved ones WAY before their time. We ALL need to do what we can, with everything we have to protect queer and trans youth. The UK government and the British press have blood on their hands.

“Rest in peace Brianna Ghey. Sending love and solidarity to her family and friends.”

“Brianna Ghey’s name should be on everyone’s feeds” – Juno Dawson

Writer Juno Dawson added in an Instagram Story: “I’m just fucking furious. Whatever anyone says, the media have blood on their hands.”

In a video, Juno said: “Brianna’s name should be on everyone’s feeds. Because [despite] what anybody says, this is a hate crime. How can it not be when a transgender 16-year-old has been murdered in broad daylight.”

On Twitter, she posted that “her name was Brianna Ghey” and asked Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak: “Do you accept your government has created a hostile environment for transgender people in the UK? Do you think all teenagers deserve to feel safe in the UK?”

Other responses referenced how the state will list the incorrect gender for Brianna on her death certificate because she is under 18.

Fox Fisher said on Twitter: “Say her name: Brianna Ghey Say her pronouns: She/Her. Rest in Power.” On the same platform, Attitude columnist Dr Ranj Singh added: “HER name was Brianna Ghey. Such an awful, sad story and a senseless loss of a young life. Rest in peace.”

Pop star Yungblud meanwhile tweeted: “Utterly heartbroken about the death of 16 year old brianna ghey. protect trans kids every day and fight relentlessly against anti-trans sentiment & legislations being pushed by our heinous government . rest in peace Brianna ghey [sic].”

Other stars to post tributes online include Heartstopper‘s Yasmin Finney, RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage and Labour MP Nadia Whittle.

Said Whittle: “Rest in peace, Brianna Ghey. Brianna deserved a chance to become a beautiful adult woman, and to live to see a world where trans people are safe and respected. Anyone in the media who is using her deadname and erasing Brianna’s identity should be ashamed of themselves.”