By Amber Wiles

TW: Murder, Hate Crime

On Saturday 11th February 16-year-old transgender girl Brianna Ghey was found murdered in Warrington Park, Cheshire. Ghey was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 15-year-old boy and girl have since been charged with the murder. As of the 8th of March an Inquest has been opened, with a trial for the two perpetrators expected to start on the 17th of August. No official motive has been determined by Cheshire Constabulary Police, with multiple lines of inquiry currently been investigated, including whether this was a hate crime.

Despite no official motive been declared by the police. Many people across the UK have noted how the crime aligns with the recent surge of anti-trans rhetoric spreading across the UK at all levels. The UK government’s recent move to shut down Scotland’s Gender Recognition Bill, has been noted as a move which represents the perilous nature of trans rights in the country right now.

These recent actions have led many, especially those who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to feel frustration and upset over recent events. This was palpable at the Brianna Ghey vigil on the 16th of February, outside the Hull University Student Union. The vigil saw numerous speakers talking about the precarious nature of being transgender in the UK right now, and the understandable fear that comes along with wanting to live life authentically. One member of the HUSU Volunteer team spoke of how this vigil was another in a long line of vigils being held over the years for deceased members of the Trans community. Those whose lives were also cut short due to the hostile environments created by those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of transgender people. The vigil as a whole was a sombre event, but speakers didn’t want to cloud Brianna’s life with the same sombre tone. One person spoke about Brianna’s popular TikTok account, in which Brianna shared her life and experiences with her following. She was also often dancing to various pop songs in her videos. Brianna wanted to bring some joy into the world. This message was echoed by her family in a statement released on their behalf by Cheshire Constabulary:

“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.”

Photo Credit: Kat Birch