Brianna Ghey: The Tragic Victim of a Culture War

Brianna Ghey was just 16 when she was found, stabbed to death on Saturday the 11th of February. Two 15-year olds, a boy and a girl, have now been charged with her murder, denied by police and government as a hate crime. Despite police claims that there is no evidence of the motive being hate-fuelled, Brianna’s friends have repeatedly said that she was harassed by gangs and received threats over her gender identity. Vigils in protest have been held across the UK, and other parts of the world, in her memory. 

Ghey has been harassed by the media and through accounts online, deadnaming her and promoting further violence against transgender people. Articles have been quick to attack activists for saying that this attack leaves blood on the hands of TERFs and governments who promote violence against transgender people. At the Anarcom Network, however, we ask how this murder is any different to the state-sponsored murder of other trans people. The backlash against those seeking justice for Brianna demonstrates clearly what society we live in, and who is at fault for it. 

Governments have rolled out severe anti-trans laws in recent months. Both Sunak and Starmer say that ‘biological sex matters.’ Last July, the Conservative Equalities Minister, Mike Freer, stepped down, accusing the government of funding a ‘culture war’ against transgender people which he ‘fundamentally disagreed with.’ There is no government that stands to protect transgender people. 

Under the current conservative government, the only transgender health clinic providing support to minors has been shut, and plans to ban private transgender healthcare have been drafted. Brianna Ghey herself received private hormone replacement therapy, using DIYHRT; not from private healthcare providers, but through online pharmaceutical orders, this treatment of transgender people clearly demonstrates the aims of those in power – eradication. 

Everyone is familiar with the photo of the nazi book burning, but how many people know what books are being burnt in the photo? The books are from the German Institute of Sexology, which contained books written on transgender healthcare. This nazi burning set back transgender healthcare by around 100 years, and similar attacks are being conducted today. In Florida, libraries are being looted and stripped of books, so that they can be confirmed to be in accordance with state views. Don’t Say Gay bills are only getting more brutal in the US, and more anti-trans healthcare bills are currently being drafted and passed through congress. Other western countries are following suit – the UK is only growing stronger in its anti-protest and censorship laws. 

Brianna Ghey was a politically active young woman whose transgender identity was hidden by the media until it could no longer be kept secret. Upon the reveal, media outlets released a torrent of transphobic bile, all the while asserting that her murder was not hate related. The AnarCom Network stands with all transgender people against state and individual violence and the growing government funded culture wars taking place. Brianna Ghey must be remembered as a victim of the culture war, and as a reminder of why we must stand against hatred, wherever we see it. 

Mermaids – UK charity supporting trans and gender-diverse children, young people and their families.

Mindline trans + – Emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as trans, non-binary, gender variant, and their families, friends, colleagues and carers. Their phone line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8pm to midnight. Ring 0300 330 5468.

Spectra – Peer-led trans services accessible to all trans and gender-diverse people, including 1-2-1 health advocacy support, and counselling, peer mentoring, referral and signposting to relevant partners, talks and workshops and monthly online and in-person social groups. 

Stonewall – UK charity campaigning for LGBT equality.

Article by ACN member