Many in the transgender community are mourning the death of British teenager Brianna Ghey, a trans girl who was stabbed to death Sunday.
Ghey, 16, was found dead in a park in Warrington, England — roughly 16 miles west of Manchester, England — with visible stab wounds, British authorities said. Police said they have arrested two teenagers, both 15 years old, on suspicion of the murder.
Ghey’s family released a statement through local authorities, saying Ghey was “a much loved” and “larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her.”
“The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same,” Ghey’s family wrote.
According to authorities, at this time there is no evidence to suggest Ghey’s murder was “hate-related.” This did little to quell discontent among trans activists regarding larger transphobic sentiments they say permeate throughout the U.K.
In a tweet that has accrued over 872,000 views as of Monday afternoon, a user slammed trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, in the name of Ghey’s death.
The climate in the U.K. has grown increasingly hostile for trans people over the last few years. For example, J.K. Rowling, the author and creator of the Harry Potter saga, has become an outspoken critic of trans rights. In a nearly 4,000-word blog post in 2020, the bestselling author said that allowing trans women to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms would make cisgender women “less safe” — an anti-trans talking point that has been debunked by research.
Simultaneously, in recent years trans activists have accused the British press of stoking or abating anti-trans sentiments.
Notably, the BBC was slammed by LGBTQ activists last year after publishing an article that many critics said painted all transgender women as sexual predators. The British broadcaster defended its piece — titled “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women” — arguing that it went through a “rigorous editorial process.”
The outcry against the media grew louder among trans activists on Monday, after British newspaper The Times “deadnamed” Ghey, that is, it published the name Ghey went by prior to her transition.
“I will be writing to @thetimes and @IpsoNews regarding this,” British MP Charlotte Nichols wrote on Twitter on Monday, referring to The Times and British media regulator Independent Press Standards Organisation.
The Times did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment. A spokesperson for IPSO declined to comment.
Following Ghey’s death on Sunday, some trans activists also chided the government for a lack of a nationwide law that would allow trans people in the U.K. to change their gender without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which is the distress caused by a sense of conflict between an individual’s sex assigned at birth and their gender identity. Last month, the British government blocked a similar “self-identify” law from being implemented in Scotland.