Back on a cold February day in Manchester, a young woman lost her life. Brianna Ghey, who was only 16 years of age, was stabbed to death by a teenage boy and girl, in a frenzied attack. It seems the children who carried out the attack were convinced they could conceal their crime, but they greatly overestimated their abilities, whilst their claims that their conversations of savagery were ‘fantasy’ were swiftly rejected.
Brianna was lured to the park where she was murdered, as part of a desire to kill. This was a premeditated crime, a cruel, calculated move, that deprived a young woman of her life, and her family of her presence.
Brianna was a transwoman, and this has been considered as a motive, though there is no evidence for this. What has happened, in the wake of her death, is the cold, callous practice of deadnaming.
Deadnaming refers to the use of her former name. Prior to starting her transition, Brianna was known as Brett. Some trolling types on Twitter have been referring to her by her defunct name, in a demonstration of transphobia. This is not an act of love or kindness, no matter how these transphobes might spin their words. What baffles me is that some of these people are themselves gay, and quite why they would align with hard-line fundamentalists is beyond me.
Detractors of the trans community often reference, among other things, the danger and harm posed to children, and to women, yet even a cursory glance at the statistics proves that there is far greater harm to come from the hard-line, conservative religious right. Just look at Bruce Gerencser’s Black Collar Crime Series, which continues to show that so many of those who deride and decry the LGBT community for being, among other things, dangerous, are in fact genuine dangers themselves.
The trans community is among one of the most heavily marginalised societies of recent times. The hard-left radical TERFS oppose them. The hard-right oppose them. They are treated like pariahs, when there are in fact much bigger problems. Unfortunately, it is easier to demonise than it is to understand, and easier to be cruel than it is to be compassionate. Even now, following the death of this young woman, people cannot bring themselves to be kind when they talk of Brianna Ghey. Instead, I ask you to say her name. Brianna Ghey.