The parents of Brianna Ghey have led tributes to the trans teenager, whose body was found in a Cheshire park on Saturday (11 February).
They’ve said her death has left “a massive hole” in their lives.
A boy and a girl, both 15, have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Brianna’s body was discovered with stab wounds in Linear Park in Culcheth, Cheshire, by members of the public.
Despite the best efforts of emergency services, Brianna was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police are trying to establish a motive for the attack and trace the murder weapon, but they are not treating Brianna’s death as a hate crime.
‘Beautiful, witty and hilarious’
“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,” her parents have said in a statement.
“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.
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this extremely difficult time. We would like to thank the police for their support, and witnesses for helping with the investigation.”
People have taken to social media to share their sadness at the news. On Facebook, one person wrote: “My heart is broken.
“As a trans person myself, it’s terrifying that this is not the first time this has happened in this country alone.”
They added: “Rest in peace Brianna, we will say your name for ever and will never forget you.”
A mother, Sharon Cawley, took to Facebook to share her condolences and support for Brianna’s family in a touching message that she posted alongside an image of a white shirt.
She wrote: “I have set my Facebook post to public in the hope that somehow this reaches you, and you know that there are hundreds of mums and dads, who are thinking of you and your pain, there are no words to begin to know what say to you right now.
“Your daughter, Brianna, such a beautiful young girl, will remain in my heart every birthday that my daughter has; I will think of her and you as years go by and when I iron the school shirt on a Sunday night you will be in my thoughts.”
Another person posted: “With so much anti-trans rhetoric in the media every damn day, attacks like this – senseless deaths of innocent people – will continue to happen, and the instances likely to increase.”
A GoFundMe page that has been set up for to help Brianna’s family fund her funeral aims to reach £4,206, is already half way to its total.
The page recalls Brianna as an “outgoing, confident girl” who brought “a lot of laughter to those who knew her”.
On Twitter, activist Erin Reed wrote: “Brianna should still be with us today. She deserved to see transgender liberation.”
Professor in human rights law, Senthorun Raj, wrote: “Young trans people deserve to thrive in a world that nurtures their humanity.
“Their lives must be protected, not debated. We all have a responsibility to challenge the insidious ways the media and politicians dehumanise trans people.”
Many used their platform to point out that Brianna’s death highlights the issue of the gender recognition act, which will mean her death certificate cannot list her as female.
Alejandra Caraballo wrote: “Important to note. The gender recognition act that the gender criticals keep fighting, with horrific, demonising language, means that Brianna Ghey’s death certificate cannot list her gender as female. As a final insult, the English government will officially misgender her in death.”
A Gender Recognition Certificate allows trans people to be recognised properly on birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.
Across the UK, trans people must submit a body of evidence, including a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, before they can obtain one.
In December, Scotland passed legislation that would have removed the medical requirement, among other efforts to make the process simpler and more accessible. But, last month the UK government blocked the reform in what’s been described as an unprecedented attack on devolution.
Mum-of-four, Susie Green, wrote on Twitter: “16 years old. I feel sick. It’s the inevitable result of the transphobia rampant across mainstream and social media.
“For Brianna Ghey. For her family. All the love. And to those with blood on your hands, I know it’s pointless as you won’t take responsibility. But f*****g own it.”
On Brianna’s popular TikTok account, which has since been deleted, fans flooded her videos with tributes.
According to the Liverpool Echo, a video posted to the account on the day she died had received more than 8,000 comments, many expressing how sorry they were to hear of her death.
PinkNews has contacted the GoFundMe organisers.
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